Dating Goddess’s products

Josiane Feigon May 22, 2006 at 12:55 am

Great post Goddess!-
I love your analogy. It has inspired me to taste some new flavors out there!
Josiane

Nancy June 9, 2006 at 1:16 pm

Hi, I was blog surfing and I read some of your blog. I got divorced after 23 years of marriage. I met my now husband when I hired his son to work for me. He asked me “Do you want to go out to dinner with my dad, he’s a widower?” Here I am and we’ve been married 4 years. Good luck with the dating thing.

Paulette June 21, 2006 at 3:01 am

This is a great reminder about the idea that whatever your (my) beliefs are, they are right! Thanks for a wonderful blog. You’re doing a great job of what’s in my mind.

LoverBoychik June 26, 2006 at 7:07 pm

This Tiger’s approach may Woo Suzanne but I this approach would t(ee) me off unless I golfed. Either way, I sense a change. There’s something more alluring about a suitor coming to you. It feels as though he’s already backed off with his rush to salvage his deposit. You need to be the center of attention, not the golfcourse. So when he offers to take you clubbing I guess he’s treating you to links.

Steve Mertz June 27, 2006 at 12:21 am

Dear Goddess, Great blog! The guy has good taste…he choose to flirt and call you! But these last minute changes are concerning. It seems that he should have offered to pay your plane fare and tell you not to worry-you would have your own room, which he paid for. It’s hard to believe that he was planning on bringing his golf clubs! It was nice while it lasted??

Marilynn June 27, 2006 at 2:23 am

This is a great analogy, Goddess. It is fun to encounter an “angel,” especially when you least expect it. One comment you’ve made is of particular interest to me, though. You said women don’t usually approach others to offer random kind comments. I’ve never really thought about that until now. You see, I frequently compliment total strangers with no regard for whether they’re male or female. If I think someone looks especially attractive, or if I like their briefcase, or even if I just think they have pretty hair, I’ll say something. This often mortifies my teenage children. I remember reading in an Andy Rooney book one time that he and Diane Sawyer were doing a publicity tour together once and after dozens of people had approached her saying virtually the same thing, that they loved her and thought she was beautiful, Andy asked, “Don’t you ever get tired of that?” Diane replied, “Actually, I have quite a high tolerance for that sort of thing.” That’s as it should be. So here’s hoping you not only encounter angels on a regular basis, but that you will make an effort to BE one for others.

Marilynn June 27, 2006 at 2:32 am

Here’s an idea for where to get great questions for an interesting first date: watch “Inside the Actor’s Stuido.” Each guest is asked the same set of questions just before the interview is turned over the the audience for their questions. My favorites from the host, James Lipton:

> If heaven really does exist, what’s the first thing you’d say to God when you get to the pearly gates?

> What’s your favorite sound?

> What’s your favorite word?

> What word do you hate the most?

> If you weren’t in this profession, which one would you like to try?

> Which job would you never do?

> Why did you choose acting as a profession?

> What’s your favorite curse word and why?

I’ve heard some great answers to these questions over the years (two of my favorite interviewees – Dustin Hoffman and Johnny Depp – revealed a lot about themselves in the answers).

Colette June 28, 2006 at 4:15 am

This woman sounds like a taker to me — someone who in that moment was “dating for food.” If the issue with his religion was that monumental, it would have been better to let him know before he was willing to shell out a few C-notes on the evening.

I’m proud to say that I NEVER accepted a date with anyone in my entire life if I didn’t have a genuine interest in getting to know them better. This included Prom, an opportunity to see Led Zepplin 3rd row, and the latest and greatest new restaurants. It truly gets my goat when someone accepts a date because of the activity being offered rather than the desire to spend time with the person doing the offering.

Steve Mertz July 11, 2006 at 7:06 pm

Goddess-This guy :”I had one guy tell me after 10 minutes that he wasn’t attracted to me so he was leaving.” is completely crass. If there isn’t any chemistry that’s fine but what a pitiful way for him to tell you so-You are getting quite the education aren’t you 🙂

Ellie July 14, 2006 at 2:27 pm

What a great blog. The last blog I looked at (on Craigslist I think) was unitelligible, hard to read and follow and offered nothing but gibberish. Yours is the opposite of all that. You are such a great writer, and if I can’t talk with you, I can always get my Goddess fix by reading your blog. It’s wonderful. Really!! Thank you!xxxxoo Ellie

David Yoho July 18, 2006 at 11:13 am

Most humans and certainly most men are superficial in that they have false beliefs about what’s important yet, when they get to know someone, those priorities might change radically. Unfortunately, we often miss characteristics that we’d cherish since we don’t get close enought to see them.

More so, we’re programmed by mass media, entertainment and an educational system that, for the most part, does not teach us how to communicate deeply. Unfortunately, our kids are influenced by all three more than their parents who, by nature, have much to teach us individually since men and women are clearly wired differently.

Of course, we depend so much on what we see and illusion being what it is, we’re fooled way too much.

We lose when we don’t see what’s great about others; the saddest part is that we also fail to see what’s wonderful about ourselves. We actually put ourselves through the same silly microscope. Dating and relationships improve (in my opinion) by knowing what key characteristics and traits are deeply significant to us. This list probably shouldn’t contain more than five traits.

Great stuff in your blog Goddess.

Cupertino July 20, 2006 at 11:49 pm

Do you see any difference between men flirting and women flirting? I’ve known several people who have taught classes in flirting — they all were women. Somehow I tend to think that men like it when women flirt but women are less accepting when men do it. What’s your experience?

Marilynn Mobley July 21, 2006 at 8:44 pm

Let’s see…. you’re wondering “Who, besides you’re mother, has told you that you were handsome?” I’m thinking maybe it was someone who was practicing their flirting, as you advised people to do in your very next post. 🙂

Seriously, I so agree with your assessment of how people view themselves vs how they are viewed by others. I actually quit hanging out with a woman because she was always complaining about how her boyfriend berated her every time she gained a single pound. I thought she was stunningly beautiful with a great figure and it really bothered me that she didn’t stand up to him. He was nice looking, but not in her her league, in my opinion. She actually justified his comments with, “He’s just trying to help. It really wouldn’t be good for me to gain weight and lose control of my looks.” I couldn’t stand to hear it any more!

Dating Goddess July 22, 2006 at 1:39 pm

I find men flirting as much as women. Perhaps they sense that I am playful, so I get flirted with more often. But I enjoy the game of it. Somehow I think they can sense when a woman is “flirtable” — she has a smile on her face, an easy laugh, an approachable feel. If you seem too serious or uptight, I doubt you’ll get much flirting action. So loosen up, relax, have fun and play. Some women don’t want to flirt for fear the man will take her seriously and she won’t know how to say no when he asks for her number. I haven’t had a problem with that, so let go of that concern.

Vicki Hitzges July 26, 2006 at 10:28 pm

I love your blog. SO *you*. Practical. Funny. Poignant. Wise. Down-to-Earth. Vulnerable. Packed with Get-On-With-It Advice.
You’re the BEST!

Michael Martine July 29, 2006 at 4:12 am

He should have the good sense to shut up

Right on. That made me laugh. If your dating becomes something more permanent, that becomes even more true.

I designed the theme you’re using on your blog. I saw your link in my WordPress dashboard and the name “Dating Goddess” sounded intriguing so I thought I’d pay a visit. Congrats on the rapid success, and thank you for using my Sapphire theme.

Paulette July 30, 2006 at 12:12 pm

Thanks for the amazingly simple yet important reminder that it’s perfectly fine to date different people for different fun reasons. That is one of the best parts of being single (again), that we can choose a different person to share a different activity, rather than expecting the impossible of one person to satisfy it all.

Dating Goddess July 30, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Exactly! Even after you decide two of you aren’t dating material, you may still choose to be activity partners. You are expanding your sphere of companions. How fun!

Steve Mertz August 2, 2006 at 2:19 pm

Goddess, I would tell him he has to pay for his incidentials and leave it at that. A stand up guy will offer to pay for yours as well. I’m glad to see that you know he’s well off-you have done what I suggested: A background check and a credit report…just kidding!! Have a great time FunSeeker!

Dating Goddess August 2, 2006 at 2:56 pm

Steve, you are so wise. I needed a guy’s perspective. But I haven’t figured out how to do the credit report yet. Guys are so protective of their Social Security number. 🙂

Thanks for the input. Makes sense.

communicatrix August 4, 2006 at 8:54 am

Gah! With my rapid-fire delivery and flat, Midwestern twang, it is a miracle of no small proportion that The BF adores me so. Perhaps love is not blind, but deaf instead.

Wonderful blog. I fell down the rabbit hole and am only coming up for air an hour later. Not good when there’s work to be done. But a testament to the fascination of the topic and your facility with it.

You should consider a career in speaking, mayhaps… 🙂

Dating Goddess August 4, 2006 at 9:07 am

Colleen, I’m sure you sound fine. If the BF is still around, you obviously have some allure, girfriend!

Thanks for your nice comments about the blog. Glad to have entertained you for an hour. I hope to continue to entertain and illuminate.

Perhaps you’ll consider adding this site to your blogroll. 🙂

Donna August 4, 2006 at 2:08 pm

You go, girl!

Dating Goddess August 4, 2006 at 3:44 pm

Thanks! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s posting to see how it went.

Silfrenwulf August 5, 2006 at 5:34 am

lol, good post.
Believe me, I’d have gone straight to th parts about women first.

carol August 5, 2006 at 8:05 am

Great post.I like the way you write.

carol August 5, 2006 at 8:08 am

So? How did it go? I am curious now.

carol August 5, 2006 at 8:13 am

Humour is a great quality to have but it isn’t enough.
Moslty because we would want to know that this man who makes us laugh can also be serious and commited.
Oh well….

BTW,no 3 is a good one.

Dating Goddess August 5, 2006 at 9:31 am

Exactly! As well as someone who knows when to turn off the humor. Someone who can never be serious has a serious “look at me” syndrome, which is why many people work to be funny — it’s an attention-getting device. And it often works!

Dating Goddess August 5, 2006 at 9:35 am

Thanks to you both! Stay tuned for more!

carol August 6, 2006 at 6:34 am

That didn’t go right. Some men will never learn how to actually behave with a woman.

Dating Goddess August 6, 2006 at 12:58 pm

I always find it surprising and sad that men in their late 40s through early 60s seem to know so little about how to treat a woman. I’m sure they think the same thing about us. I’d be curious to read what disappoints midlife men most about woman, so if you know any links of articles about this, please leave them in a comment. The one I’ve heard most often from men is women with an entitlement attitude that he will pay for everything and treat her like a queen. But does he know how to treat her like a goddess? 🙂

Paulette August 6, 2006 at 5:25 pm

There was a recent movie, whose name escapes me, where one of the characters knew every thought of the others in the story. There are many times in life, like your experience with this man, where I think that gift would be oh so helpful. Instead we are mere mortals with the gift or curse of having to articulate our thoughts, play guessing games, or gravely misinterpret. As always, thanks for sharing.

Dating Goddess August 6, 2006 at 6:19 pm

Perhaps you’re thinking of “What Women Want” where Mel Gibson could hear women’s thoughts. Too bad he didn’t have the skill of mind reading with his recent troubles, but I digress.

Yes, I have often thought “What was he thinking?” when a man acts unfathomably. Like did Mr. Masher think I was enjoying myself when his hands were all over me and I was squirming to break the embrace? Who knows?

Paulette August 8, 2006 at 11:15 am

When you get to writing The Book, this entry is the ideal article to promote The Book! 🙂

Dating Goddess August 8, 2006 at 12:39 pm

Thank you! I’m trying to think of ways that a woman shows there won’t be a second date. If you can think of any ways you communicate this during the first date, send ’em on!

Matt August 15, 2006 at 7:46 am

Whilst I agree with you whole heartedly on the subject of chivalry, please look at it from another point of view.
For the last 30 years, men have had it made quite clear by of the more vocal ( and possibly misguided) feminists that women are quite capable of doing these things without male assistance.

As result, it became (and sadly continues to be) fashionable to be abusive towards any man who opened a door or offered a seat on the bus.
Would you continue to do something that just gets you an embarrassingly public torrent of abuse ?
I suspect not.
This doesn’t mean it is correct, or even that the majority of women agree with this viewpoint, but it certainly is an effective way to curtail that unsolicted goodwill.

Grace and courtesy are things we see too little of, and I’m heartened to read that you do compliment a gentleman who does open the door, or pays you respect.
Tell your friends, as that sort of thing makes us feel nice inside, and encourages us that politeness is not outdated 🙂

There can be no bad side effects from encouraging chivalry and good manners 😀

Matt August 15, 2006 at 7:52 am

“One of my friends teaches them to 12-year-old boys. And she teaches the girls how to respond graciously.”

Only *one* of them ? Why aren’t *all* your friends teaching their children manners ? Huh,huh ?? 😉

Dating Goddess August 15, 2006 at 8:25 am

Matt, I should have been clearer. My friend teaches classes on etiquette to kids — and makes a good living doing so!

Thanks for your comment. Glad to have a man’s perspective.

Matt August 15, 2006 at 9:05 am

To be frank with you, there are only three reliable indicators in that lot.

He can’t wait to get the check
No mention of a second date.
He shakes your hand as you part and says something like “It was nice to meet you.”

The others, even culmatively, do not reliably indicate that he’s not interested in you. It may well show that he is shy/too PC/rude/boorish/inconsiderate/inarticulate, and I dare say those traits would kill off the possibility of a second date.

However, he may be assessing you as well, it is a first date, and who knows what you are like ?
I won’t go through the entire list, but a couple entries worth mentioning are:

No casual touching.
As a gentleman approaching his 40’s, I would still consider this a no no for a first date. It indicates an initmacy that is inappropriate for first time meeting.
For a second and subsequent dates, no problems. But not for a first time encounter.
Touching can mean different things to different people.
Appreciate it as he is being respectful that casual touching may make you feel uncomfortable so early on.

# He accepts your offer to contribute to the check. Bad sign. This shows he has no interest in you romantically.

What a load of rot. You’re on a first date, he may be seeing if you are:
Financially secure
Confident in yourself
Mature
Sincere
Practical
Realistic

Do not take it as either an indicator or an offense. You may be being tested to see whether you’re up to the grade, or if you’re just coming along for a nice meal.
After half a dozen failed first dates, a guy quickly realises that chivalry and financial common sense are not necessarily mutually compatible goals., and likewise ‘date’ means ‘free meal’ to some less ethically bound women.
The price for this wisdom can be.. expensive.
His acceptance is certainly better than insisting that he pays the full bill, which also happens to irritate both women and waiters.

He doesn’t walk you to your car.
Now that’s just plain rude. Kick him in the shins.
He should at least offer to accompany you. Kick him again.

Dating Goddess August 15, 2006 at 10:05 am

Thanks, Matt, for sharing your perspective. It’s always good to hear a guy’s side.

communicatrix August 15, 2006 at 10:40 am

As a long-time (now retired) veteran of online dating, I humbly suggest that what you are, in fact, researching is yourself.

Of course, along the way a smart cookie will invariably collect data on dating, too. But just as committed, monogamous relationships are a great forum for personal growth (kind of the master class, if you’re willing to do the work), the initial stages of a relationship will probably teach you more about yourself than the other person. After all, *you* are the constant factor…

Dating Goddess August 15, 2006 at 11:24 am

Colleen, you are so right! Thanks for sharing your insights.

Carol August 18, 2006 at 12:14 pm

The condom should be a part of the foreplay.
Many people have no idea that a condom can spare you some later embarassament.
How to say it?
Don’t say it.
Pull the condom out and let it be a part of the game.
If the guy refuses …well then..no sex.

Dating Goddess August 18, 2006 at 12:54 pm

Carol — Well said. thanks for adding your sage input.

Thanks, too, for adding Adventures in Dating After 40 to your blogroll! Very cool!

theparody August 18, 2006 at 6:56 pm

Good to know that you enjoyed my *wacky idea* I certainly had fun writing those posts!

Paulette August 19, 2006 at 7:06 pm

Are you considering this email to him proprietary intellectual property, and, if so, is it available for licensing? (that said from one information product developer to another!) Please advise as to your terms.

Kind regards,
Paulette

Dating Goddess August 19, 2006 at 7:25 pm

🙂

Well, of course it’s copyrighted, but we can work on a licensing agreement. Are there lots of men you want to send it to? We can work on a bulk-purchase program. 🙂

carol August 20, 2006 at 11:11 am

My pleasure. Your blog is fun to read.

carol August 20, 2006 at 11:20 am

Eheheh! Cracks me up.

Interpretation of his ad:

“Hey, i am a guy who is not very generous and i would like to have around me a super high class hooker for FREE , who’ll pretend that i am worth a bunch in front of my people.

As benefits you won’t be getting much, but hey, here is my descritpion. Am i boring or what?”

This guy is or too funny or ….

carol August 20, 2006 at 11:26 am

Guys are pissing me off.
From that book….a guy doesn’t like to be chased so the silly woman has to wait for a sign for when he’s in the mood for calling …..
Bah!
When he calls, the woman should just do the same to him.
“You know what?I’ll call you when i am in the mood for you. ok? I am not really thinking of you right now.”

Your letter to him has a very sweet sarcasm.

Dating Goddess August 20, 2006 at 11:44 am

Wow, Carol, I had a totally different interpretation of his ad. I read it as sweet and funny, not boring, or stingy at all. Guess that’s why different profiles appeal to different people.

Dating Goddess August 20, 2006 at 11:48 am

Hmm. I didn’t mean it as sarcastic. In fact, I meant it sincerely, trying to ascertain the info I wanted in a funny way.

Since he didn’t call last night as I thought he’d said he would, maybe the real answer is to continue exploring other possibilities — which I am! Stay tuned!

I wonder if guys really get how their lack of a phone call every few days leaves a woman to think he’s uninterested — at least at the beginning. Or maybe he knows and he’s not that interested, so doesn’t feel compelled to call.

Nancy August 20, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Aack! I found your blog through someone else’s blogroll, but I can’t recall which one. From where it was, I’m very happy to have found it. Eventhough I’m not in the slightest bit interested in dating, I am 47 and single, and so am able to appreciate the subject. I agree that the ad was funny and well done. I’m not sure how Carol came to her conclusion since the ad says the exact opposite of what she heard. Maybe I’m wrong, but I read it the same way you did.

Now, whether he lives up to or not is another matter. 😉

carol August 21, 2006 at 12:38 am

Oh,my mistake then. I am sorry.

And I am sorry he behaves like that. You would say that at a certain age, they are more serious and they’ve learned something but it seems different.

As for guys knowing what’s he’s making a woman thinking by not calling her….
At this point there are all a “Homer”.

carol August 21, 2006 at 12:50 am

Well, i am 27 and i might understand things other way than you guys do.
When i first read it, that was what crossed my mind…but it wasn’t meant to be taken as a serious answer.
You can delete my comment if you wish, Goddess.

Nancy August 21, 2006 at 6:26 am

Carol- I hope Dating Goddess won’t delete your comment. Why would someone delete a comment that simply says the writer interpreted things differently? JMO. In any case, I’m glad you wrote back. I really was interested in how we could see the post so differently. It’s really interesting to me to find out how to shift my understanding enough to see another person’s point of view.

Me, I heard him say that he was interested in dating for potential LTR, not a one night anonymous craigslist encounter, and that he liked to do the sorts of wooing I would have scoffed at 20 years ago. But then I ended up marrying a tragic artist type who refused to celebrate my birthday in anyway because it made him sad that one day I’d die. So, now the only way a man could drag me out on a date is if he was going to at least pretend to worship the ground I walk on. 🙂

carol August 21, 2006 at 7:15 am

Nancy, i have a strange humor sometimes so bear with me.
When it comes about men, i like when they are direct. Like this we all know with whom we are dealing with.
When a man plays with words, like this man we’re talking about, well…i can only make jokes about it. I can’t take him for serious because men like that usually end up disappointing a woman.
How do i know? I’ve been there. I won’t generalize though…
Oh well…i won’t go any further with that.
Forgive me for being insensitive. I am not usually like that and i don’t hate men.
I probably bash out now a man who actually is a good person and serious and i shouldn’t have answer with a joke…but i did.
The ad itself is funny but all i can think is that he jokes with that.

Now Nancy, you should never go on a date with a man who pretends he worhips the ground you walk, unless you intend to dumb him next day.
We all know that we deserve better than that.
If he end up pretending too good and you’ll believe it and like it…what then?
What happens when he stops pretending?

Thank you for reacting.

Dating Goddess August 21, 2006 at 9:11 am

Hi Nancy and Carol:

Good exchange! And Carol, no need to delete your comment. I found it interesting that we interpreted it so differently. Makes me wonder how men might negatively interpret my profile!

Thanks for keeping the conversation lively.

carol August 21, 2006 at 11:40 am

What do you mean with men interpreting negative your profile? Why would they?

I need to know why you two are seeing his ad as sweet. (not the funny part).
BTW, i didn’t found the ad to be boring.
Maybe one of you will explain. Even better, both of you.

Dating Goddess August 21, 2006 at 11:49 am

Hi Carol:

I meant that if you and I can have such 180-degree interpretations of the guy’s ad, I’m wondering what guys would read as negative in my profile. Of course, I only hear from the ones who liked it.

In the guy’s ad, he is saying he’d like to take his woman to B&Bs, national parks, dinners, etc. and is not just looking for a booty call. He’ll cook for you, giver her flowers, cuddle, hold hands — all the things that help melt a gal’s heart when they are actually done and not just talked about!

carol August 21, 2006 at 1:01 pm

Oh, don’t pay too much attention to what i said.
I am not a romantic or very sentimental person, so i wouldn’t understand things like you do or Nancy does.
Not trying now to take back what i said…but i don’t think that the guys would think like me. And you shouldn’t care about that if they are not on your wave.
It doesn’t matter what a guy who doesn’t like the way you speak and think thinks about you.

Liz August 22, 2006 at 5:08 pm

I have read that 90% of those with herpes do not know that they have it.

Cupertino August 23, 2006 at 2:06 am

If I’m Mr. 400Miles, I would not be coming to see you — after 3 months of daily calls — unless I was looking for something more than a casual friendship. (Granted, it might or might not happen.) Consequently, I would be really disappointed if I traveled to see you and your heart was really with someone else.

Since you already don’t feel a romantic connection with Mr. 400Miles, I feel you should not have him come visit. Tell him the truth — that you have begun a relationship which might have possibilities and want to let it develop. If the relationship with Mr. Dreamboat doesn’t work out, you can get back in touch with Mr. 400Miles, who may or may not be still interested then.

Just my two cents, but I feel having Mr. 400Miles come visit while you are building a budding relationship with Mr. Dreamboat isn’t fair to either of them, and represents an “I want to have it all and hedge my bets” attitude by you. Doesn’t feel clean to me.

Dating Goddess August 23, 2006 at 8:45 am

Cupertino, you bring up some good points. Thanks for sharing them. I’m curious to see what others might say as well. So far, those who I’ve asked personally have split down the middle — see Mr. 400Miles and tell him not to come. Thus my asking my readers.

uewoso August 23, 2006 at 9:33 am

I’ve traveled three times to meet faraway women. To my surprise each one invited me to stay in her home. I told them all never to do this with anyone else. If they had anything going on the side, I couldn’t tell and so it didn’t matter. One meeting went nowhere because she had deep seated emotional problems that had not surfaced in email and phone conversations, one was a great long weekend and we still talk, and the last one has resulted in a bi-coastal relationship and my leaving Match.com. I think she may be the one.

Your ambivalence indicates you are still “dating,” and since Mr. 400 probably can’t use his airline tickets for anything else anyway, let him take the risk. It is his risk and his decision. Besides, Mr. Dreamboat may be doing the same thing you are doing, which is keeping a spare in case you go flat, so to speak. That’s why they call it “dating.”

As for traveling, I have had some women I talked with and liked and they wanted me to visit. Interestingly, while they were quite eager for me to spend the time and money to fly across the country, most of them wouldn’t consider anything reciprocal, like meeting half way. That became a deal breaker. When Mr. 400 comes, you are not obligated beyond the first cup of tea, not even for guilt if you have no interest.

Dating Goddess August 23, 2006 at 9:50 am

Joel:

Thanks for the guy’s perspective. I appreciate your sharing it.

Several months ago a guy flew in to see me after talking with me for a week or 10 days, he “just had” to meet me. After dinner, where he brought in his own cheap wine, tried to French kiss me within 10 minutes of meeting me, and ate his lamb chops with his hands, I decided there wouldn’t be a second date. And as you say, I did so guilt free, as I hadn’t asked him to come visit me. He wanted to get together the next day, after suggesting he spend the night at the end of the first date, and I declined.

And yes, early on when Mr. 400Miles and I were talking about getting together, I did offer to meet him half way. I think that’s only fair when there’s a long distance involved. He wanted to come here this time though. If he sweeps me off my feet, I’ll offer to go there next time.

So thanks for your wisdom.

Steve Mertz August 23, 2006 at 6:15 pm

This scares me…my first blush is that you and Dreamboat have shared some very special time together! It sounds like your gut is telling you that contestant #2 isn’t going to develop romantically. I’m glad that I don’t have to make the call…what does your intuition tell you? I’m really enjoying dating-albeit reading about all your adventures 🙂

Dating Goddess August 23, 2006 at 7:11 pm

Thanks, Steve. My gut tells me to let it play out. Be respectful, don’t take advantage of his generosity (which I wouldn’t do anyway), don’t send signals I don’t mean, stay in integrity, assess and be honest with how I’m feeling.

Thanks for reminding me to go into this with an intention of being respectful of both Mr. 400Miles as well as Dreamboat.

Ellie August 25, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Please let me know how it goes.
I am enjoying your blog, and the comments
I feel like an insider and its fun

Steve Mertz August 28, 2006 at 3:58 pm

Goddess-Being a guy, I’m thinking something occured this weekend that promted this cerebral discussion? Women like to have sex as much as if not more than men-it just often comes with guilt for them. You are right about having “the talk” when you’re not right in the middle of a passionate embrace!

Dating Goddess August 28, 2006 at 5:15 pm

Yes, Steve, I agree that women can love sex as much as men. It’s not about loving it — it’s about being willing to talk about it beforehand, and being clear on what meaning you make it have.

And while it’s optimal to have the talk when not in the midst of passion, sometimes it’s not possible and you have to take a break in the action. But I do think it’s important to have the discussion.

Liz August 31, 2006 at 1:14 pm

Certainly it’s not at all about men enjoying sex more than women. But you are right that in general, whether biological or social, it has a different meaning for women than for men. A conversation BEFORE should be REQUIRED! It’s horrible a week or so into a relationship having become sexual to suddenly realize that your partner could be having sex with somebody else and YOU never ASKED for the relationship to be EXCLUSIVE. You just can’t go back at that point.

David Yoho September 2, 2006 at 6:42 am

This couldn’t be more true Goddess,

For whatever reason, most men ARE reluctant (including me) to discuss deep issues. And for sure, if you don’t discuss them soon enough, they’ll haunt you later. In my previous marriage we let stuff go and our marriage went. My wife Annie doesn’t let that happen. One of the reasons I married her was her courage. This came with it.

While this makes for some unwanted realities, we resolve our issues, expose our feelings and in the end, learn how to love each other better. The most important thing is that we’re showing deeper respect for the relationship itself and making it more important than our individual wants. The key is to do this without destroying our individualities.

While it’s true that guys who get angry (your blog) probably aren’t the best partners, some of this is created because rules of engagement haven’t been established. Annie will often approach me about something when I’m not in the best emotional frame of mind. When the timing is bad, I tell her and she accepts it BUT it’s up to me to establish another time or get back to her within a day or two at most, depending on the gravity of the issue.

And when the argument becomes too heated, it’s best to call a “time-out” with the promise to finish within some certain time frame. Praying before, during and after discussions helps us too.

Confronting assorted issues has made all the difference in our marriage and has deepened our respect and trust. Any relationship can work when trust and respect exist.

Thanks to Annie, talking things out is a foundational element in our relationship. I wouldn’t have committed this way without her steadfast, loving persistence. I’m lucky to have a partner who’s couragous enough to argue for what’s best even when it’s uncomforatble. I’ve learned to do it – I don’t think I’ll ever like it.

Unfortunately for women, most men are like this. Most of us are insecure – even the most confident-seeming men. So while we need your understanding and patience, we also need you to assume some leadership in this area without making us feel stupid or worse- more insecure. Sadly, most of us will hide behind some coping device – and sometimes we feel pushed in that direction. This may not seem fair but neither is life.

The good news is that our marriage works because of it.

Dating Goddess September 2, 2006 at 8:17 am

David — thank you for your throughtful and insightful comment. You are so right that it makes a couple stronger to discuss these issues. And I believe it important to begin during dating, as you’ll get a clearer picture of who the person you’re dating is.

Donna Cutting September 4, 2006 at 6:09 am

Dating Goddess, You are so creative! Is he as much fun as he sounded?

Last year my dog Snowball wrote our “tacky holiday letter.” Most of my friends and family enjoy receiving the annual Christmas updates, but I figured that those who get annoyed by them really can’t be too upset getting a letter from our precious Maltese puppy.

I’ll look forward to seeing what happens next with Fido’s dad.

Dating Goddess September 4, 2006 at 8:26 am

Donna, alas, he was a one-date wonder (see the posting on this in the sidebar). He was charming and fun, but I never heard from him again. Sigh. That was a few months ago, so I only surmise I wasn’t his cup of tea. My mantra in times like this is always “Next!”

Bruce Daley September 6, 2006 at 3:34 pm

Women like to talk about sex, but then again they like to talk about everything else. As a man you know listening to them is just a price you have to pay to do your part for evolution.

Dating Goddess September 6, 2006 at 4:14 pm

So Bruce, why don’t men think it’s important to talk about sex — safe sex specifically — when their health and life are potentially at risk if they don’t? I’ve come to learn that no matter what kind of rational discussion a couple can have about this, when things get hot, all memory of that — and pretty much any other rational thought — goes out the window.

lilybeth September 6, 2006 at 8:50 pm

Go on Godess. You are not committing to anyone of them yet so play it up. Why not?

Dating Goddess September 6, 2006 at 9:01 pm

Lilybeth — I did what you are now suggesting. As it turned out, Mr. 400Miles and I hit it off better than I anticipated. That was 10 days ago and I haven’t heard a peep from Dreamboat in a week. So I’m glad I didn’t upset the applecart anticipating that he’d be jumping to be in my life. I’m sad he seems to have disappeared, but 400Miles and I are still talking, so it’s good. In fact, I saw him for a few days when I was in his town last week on business.

lilybeth September 6, 2006 at 9:13 pm

I love your “job descriptions”.

Dating Goddess September 6, 2006 at 9:18 pm

Lilybeth — thanks! What would you include in your perfect guy’s job description?

Bruce Daley September 7, 2006 at 5:45 am

Men do think it’s very important to talk about sex. If you don’t talk about it, you don’t get it. From a man’s perspective there is no such thing as safe sex, there are just degrees of risk. As a man, you know one way or another, any time have sex you will end up paying for it. Some women make you pay in cash, some women make you pay in tears, a few women even make you pay in blood but as you point out in a previous column – talk is cheap – and therefore for many men a favorite way to pay.

lilybeth September 7, 2006 at 5:55 pm

Goddess you covered it all, LOL.

Dating Goddess September 7, 2006 at 8:54 pm

Thanks!

Bruce Daley September 8, 2006 at 9:34 am

Can I make a joke here? Does this make a guy’s perfect job description for a woman nymphomaniac liquor store owner? Or is this a no humor zone?

Dating Goddess September 8, 2006 at 9:54 am

Hi Bruce: Humor is always welcomed! Although humor is always in the eye (ear?) of the beholder.

To add to the stereotype of your guy’s perfect gal, wouldn’t she own a sports bar?

uewoso September 8, 2006 at 10:42 am

Coffee only is good advice and even so, many times it will be the longest cup of coffee you ever drank. Most Internet encounters will go no further and you just have to accept that. Go in with a prepared statement, “Look, I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel we are connecting the way I had hoped and rather than waste your time or mine, I think I’d better go now.” Do not be drawn into the discussion of why because there is no why just as there is no why you prefer chocolate to vanilla. Just get up and walk out and you will be doing both of you a favor.

Dating Goddess September 8, 2006 at 10:57 am

Yes, I’ve had what seemed like loooooong coffee dates, but then I’ve also had dates that started with coffee and extended to lunch or dinner. I had a 5-hour “coffee” date once!

I do like to give guys a bit of a chance, especially since we’ve usually connected nicely over the phone and email or I wouldn’t be having coffee with them. Even ones that showed up and were totally unappealing I like to give at least 30-45 minutes. Most end up being an hour.

And you’re right about not going into why. It is hard to tell someone — as well as to hear — “you’re just not my type.” But you have to learn to live with it and just say “next!”

Jeff Rubin September 9, 2006 at 9:30 am

Dear Goddess,

Thanks for the plug. Punctuation is also important in one’s sex life. Here are a few examples:

1. You’ve just returned home from a long business trip. You’re reconnecting with your spouse/lover and when you’re done, you roll over to your side of the bed and say, “That was great?” Or, you say, ‘That was great!” It all depends on the punctuation as to whether or not you’re going to reconnect again that day.

2. An example in three parts:
• Pre-marital sex — what you get before you are married or if you’re reading this blog
• Extra marital sex: What you’re getting if you’re in a good marriage
• Extra-marital sex: What you’re getting if you’re in a bad marriage
If you’re getting extra-marital sex, chances are you’re not getting extra marital sex.

Dating Goddess September 9, 2006 at 10:07 am

Jeff — this is very funny — and so you!

I will now have to watch my punctuation now that I know you’re going to be occasionally reading this!

Donna Cutting September 9, 2006 at 3:48 pm

Dating Goddess,

You are right on. This is the wrong message. Sure, the lies might get you a date…but if you find this is someone with whom you want to go further, then where are you? You’re going to have to come clean sometime.

It reminds me of when I was in high school….frantically reading the sports pages so that I would have something to discuss with the cute boys in my class. Problem was, I couldn’t have cared less about sports. (Well, okay it was fun when the Bucs won the Super Bowl, and the Red Sox won the World Series….but that’s the extent of my enthusiasm.) When I was in high school I remember reading articles that taught me that if I wanted to attract a boy I needed to be interested in the things boys were interested in.

Well, turns out Prince Charming turned out to be someone who has about as much interest in sports as I do….very little. 🙂 Truth is, he hasn’t turned out to be the idealized version of Prince Charming either.

However, when we both got real about who we are, learned to enjoy the areas we have in common, celebrate our differences, and accept the personality quirks that sometimes drive us crazy, we are left with a very real, loving, caring, passionate relationship with our best friend.

If you start out with a lie (or two or three) you haven’t got a chance.

Dating Goddess September 9, 2006 at 4:59 pm

Donna — you’re so right. I wonder if Dentyne is thinking that people are just looking for a one-night hookup, so they’ll never have to come clean. If so, it’s interesting that a major corporation is now encouraging one-night stands!

Liz September 11, 2006 at 12:20 pm

too much like prostitution? I think that is prostitution!

Dating Goddess September 11, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Liz — you’re so right!

Liz September 12, 2006 at 7:52 am

Interesting points, but of course each case is different. If the man has children and they live with him, or if they are with him on weekends, weekends may be his time with his children. Hopefully, as his girlfriend you start to join him and his children on those weekends, but maybe not ALWAYS.

I agree about the conversations though. I do not like it if my boyfriend always calls while driving or doing something else. Not just because he may have another girlfriend. I do not suspect another woman. I just want to be a higher priority for his time. I think that talking is necessary when two people are getting to know each other. Lengthy conversations about the relationship or about beliefs, dreams, aspirations, the world in general, are necessary. If schedules are too busy or you live too far apart to see each other multiple times per week, I would suggest setting up phone call times–even if they must be limited to 20 or 30 minutes–that are not multi-tasking time.

Dating Goddess September 12, 2006 at 8:59 am

Liz — I like the idea of setting up non-multitask time. Good suggestion.

Marta September 12, 2006 at 6:57 pm

Hi Goddess,

I am really enjoying your blog. I am about to turn 40 and must confess a bit scared to get out there in the dating world so I commend you. Reading your blog is beginning to inspire me to try one of those dating websites. I was watching the movie “Must Love Dogs” and wondered if you ever tried PerfectMatch.com? If not, have you heard anything about it?

Thanks,
M

Dating Goddess September 12, 2006 at 8:39 pm

Hi Marta:

Thank you for your kind comment about enjoying my blog. I enjoy writing it so am glad you enjoy reading it!

Yes, I did try PerfectMatch for a little while, but withdrew my profile, I don’t remember exactly why. I think it might have been the quality of the responses I got (men who didn’t match any of my criteria but wanted to hook up). The best for me so far has been Match.com, as I get a lot of contacts from men who are better prospects.

But I hope my blog helps you see that you need to enjoy the process and not focus on all the mismatches. As I’ve said, some of the men who weren’t good romantic matches have become treasures in my life as wonderful pals that I’d be sorry if I hadn’t met. So don’t get depressed if Mr. Right doesn’t come along right away. Remember, I’m on #66, and have had several 6-week and one 6-month relationship, but have yet to find “the one.” But then, I wasn’t looking for “the one” until I’d dated enough to see what I really wanted. So have fun and experiment, even if a guy doesn’t seem like a perfect match!

Bruce Daley September 15, 2006 at 8:00 am

The easiest way to understand his behavior is to remember – men are dogs! Is a dog being flirty or interested in a LTR when he comes up and starts to hump your leg? Just be glad you weren’t sitting closer to a fire hydrant.

Bruce

Dating Goddess September 15, 2006 at 9:32 am

Hi Bruce. Your comments from the male perspective are always interesting — and entertaining!

Linda P September 17, 2006 at 3:07 pm

WOW!!! All this random dating is sooooo flaky! First you think Dreamboat will be the one and then you hedge your bets and see 400 mi and never hear from Dreamboat. You need real tough skin to be in the dating world these days…I don’t think I can handle disposable dating. I prefer the old fashioned introduction way of dating or meeting somone through a mutal interest in participating in a hobby, business etc… this internet thing has both men and women suffering from ADD..kids in a candy store…always looking for the next one around the corner..never taking the time to get to know one another before clicking on the next profile…very sad….I am ready to give up…

Linda P September 17, 2006 at 3:16 pm

This guy is obviously a player…he knows just what buttons to push…as evidenced by the outcome of this little escapade…beware of men who who “overdo” the compliments!

Dating Goddess September 17, 2006 at 8:26 pm

Yes, Linda, you do need tough skin to date. The thing is even with the “old” method of introductions, meeting people in classes, business and hobbies, you have no idea of someone’s personal integrity. They could be great at business but totally flaky personally. Yes, there is some ADD, and there is a sense of something better might be around the corner. But you quickly find those guys out and release them.

Don’t give up! I’ve met some wonderful men in this adventure, so have faith!

Dating Goddess September 17, 2006 at 8:28 pm

Thanks for sharing your perspective. What “outcome” are you referencing? You don’t know how this one turned out.

Bruce Daley September 20, 2006 at 10:52 am

After you get a certain age (and I believe that age is 40) it is very difficult to get constructive criticism. People assume that you are not going to change and so they give up. It seems to me that what your friend was giving you constructive criticism. “If you lost weight you would attract more men” is not the same kind of comment as “I can’t be seen in public with someone who reminds me of Shelly Winters.”

As I mentioned in my last comment men are dogs. To continue the animal analogy further you get more flies with honey than vinegar so its better not to criticize something the other person can’t change.

Dating Goddess September 20, 2006 at 11:57 am

Hi Bruce:

My friend wasn’t really giving me advice, he was just stating that I wasn’t his type. His type is model-thin, which I will never be unless I’m on my deathbed.

While I agree it is best not to criticize something the other person can’t change, I’d even say not to criticize something they aren’t interested in changing. If they’re happy and don’t see a need to change, no matter how much nagging and complaining you do, until they see it is important, no change will occur. Now sometimes we will change as we see it will help us be closer to someone we care about. And that’s enough motivation. But nagging doesn’t often do it.

Bruce Daley September 20, 2006 at 5:22 pm

That is very wise comment. You could even make the argument that the only reason people voluntarily change is to move closer to someone they care about.

Dating Goddess September 20, 2006 at 8:57 pm

Thanks, Bruce.

Only if we include ourselves as the someone we want to get closer to! I lost 30 lbs right before my husband left, not for him, but for me!

Rachel September 21, 2006 at 11:42 am

Bravo!

At last a dating blogger who addresses requirements. You are SO right on!

I’m thrilled to have “found” you!

I’m the author of SINGLE MOM SEEKING [www.singlemomseeking.com], a first-person saga about my ongoing search for The One. No worries, I’m not a whiner.

I’ll tell you one thing, however: as this dedicated and involved mom dates, she will not settle!

And here’s the gem question when it comes to requirements:

“What must happen in your partnership to have a great and loving life and relationship?”

Ah, thank you Dating Goddess for addressing this!

Warmly,
Rachel, rachel@singlemomseeking.com

Chris Rohde September 21, 2006 at 12:45 pm

Good post, DG, and losing 30 lbs is very admirable indeed! When I was still in the Marine Corps (heck, only got out a year and a half ago) I was, at my smallest, 70lbs lighter than I am now… and only 25 lbs lighter when I got out than I am now.

My wife and I are working on slimming ourselves back down… for ourselves, for each other, and for our (eventual) kids. Its mighty hard working 45 hours a week, going to school full time, *and* exercising!

Again though, nice read… I’ll keep checking in 🙂

Dating Goddess September 21, 2006 at 5:12 pm

Rachel:

“What must happen in your partnership to have a great and loving life and relationship?”

What a great question! I have a date tomorrow night with the “I’m baaaaack guy” and I’ll ask it of him and see what he says!

I’ll also visit your site.

Dating Goddess September 21, 2006 at 5:31 pm

Hi Chris:

Thanks for your comments. Yes, please do check back — I hope you’ve put Adventures in Dating After 40 on your RSS feed or get it in emai with FeedBlitz. And I do appreciate all comments.

uewoso September 22, 2006 at 6:28 am

Got your list of requirements for “he’s baaack.”
Good to get your list out front.
BTW, what do you bring to the table by way of reciprocity? We live in a time of equality, so, what do you offer in the way of opening doors, calling every day, etc?

Dating Goddess September 22, 2006 at 8:02 am

Hi Joel:

I list some of what I offer in the job description posting I referred to. In my research, it seems men don’t want tit for tat reciprocity. They don’t want me to open the door, and in fact, most don’t like it if I do. However, I am always appreciative for any acts of thoughtfulness and respond with a “thank you,” smile, touch on the arm, kiss and other affection. I am verbally affirmative and encouraging. I cook them homecooked meals. I laugh at their attempts to be funny. And I make ’em laugh!

Also, I learn what behaviors mean for them that I care. If they don’t care that I cook, but really care that I acknowledge them, I focus more on that. It’s different for each of us, and I want to find out what they interpret as caring behaviors.

Sandy September 22, 2006 at 8:56 am

Why do men disappear? I believe because they can’t handle any type of drama little or big. They don’t want to deal with guilt, tears, or what ever their imagination tells them a woman is going to do. Most women over 40 can graciously accept I just don’t “fill in the blank” for you, they don’t need to exhibit any signs of drama. Disappointment sure, but hey, that is what dating is all about, you try it, if it works great, if not you move on. No sense in dwelling over a what if. Life is too short to wonder why some guy didn’t think you were the one. Ladies at this stage of our lives letting go is truly one thing that should be done.

Bruce Daley September 22, 2006 at 9:17 am

This is just one of the ways men are different than women. Most typically men will not call back because they don’t know their real reasons not wanting to see a woman. (And it is also true they don’t usually know why they want to see a woman) At some level they just decide these women are not for them. I know this is hard to for women to understand and from a female perspective is extremely rude. To a male perspective it is much more efficient that way – he avoids introspection, confrontation, drama, and leaves the door open in the future. One way to handle it might be to email him “if you ever want to see me again, I need to hear from you in X days”. That might do the trick!

Dating Goddess September 22, 2006 at 10:44 am

Sandy — thanks for sharing your views. It seems we’re pretty much in agreement.

I don’t think we “dwell” on it — we just wonder how we could have had such different impressions of what was happening. She (I) thought it was going fine — perhaps even great — then he poofs. Although I think I’m a good reader of people, obviously I’m not (and I think many women are not) in this area.

And yes, letting go is good. See my posting “They come, they go” for a zen take on dating.

Dating Goddess September 22, 2006 at 10:47 am

Bruce — “from a female perspective is extremely rude. ” I’m afraid you’re right — it does seem rude.

«To a male perspective it is much more efficient that way – he avoids introspection, confrontation, drama, and leaves the door open in the future.»

Yes, that open door policy. But doesn’t he realize that when he poofs he nearly always slams that door shut, with few exceptions? Or perhaps he doesn’t care.

«One way to handle it might be to email him “if you ever want to see me again, I need to hear from you in X days”.

Interesting. I thought guys didn’t like ultimatums?

Liz September 22, 2006 at 11:17 am

I am a woman, and more than once after one or two dates I have just stopped returning phone calls if I wasn’t interested. I didn’t see the point in calling somebody to say, “Hi. I just called to say I don’t want to date you anymore.”

Dating Goddess September 22, 2006 at 12:06 pm

Hi Liz — I always at least email them if I don’t want to continue or shift to friends. I like completion and don’t like being left hanging so don’t want to do that to others.

Bruce Daley September 22, 2006 at 12:40 pm

No one likes ultimatums, but because the power is in hands of the person being called (or emailed) letting him know that he will have to declare an interest in order to maintain his position does not strike me as unreasonable. Don’t be surprised after X days if he never calls, but then again that is the point of the exercise — to know where you stand.
* Which Merriam-Webster defines as a “final proposition, condition, or demand; especially : one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or other direct action”

Liz September 22, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Dating Goddess, I really can’t say that I have done this recently. I am actually thinking back a few years, and I don’t know that email was quite as prevalent at the time that I did this. I had email, but I don’t know that it was a normal means of communication at the time. I actually agree with you that at least an email should be sent. And I probably should have made a quick phone call or at least answered the phone. I mentioned it to point out that sometimes women think that way, not to say that what I did was actually the right thing.

Dating Goddess September 22, 2006 at 3:22 pm

Liz — yes, I know what you mean. I work to consistently do what I know is right, but am not 100%.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

DG

Elizabeth September 23, 2006 at 1:07 pm

Hi…
This is really fun to read…Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us…and letting us divorced (or so to be) single women know that we are not alone. There’s a lot here that I identify with, although I’m not as brave as you are about dating lots of guys. So far.
Thanks also for the review of dating books. I’ve been looking for someone to giveme so feedback on books. I haven’t bought any yet, but I might…
I’d love to know what you think of my blog. I riff on dating, but also on religion and politics.
Best wishes, Elizabeth in PA

Liz September 25, 2006 at 5:44 am

I think it is best never to assume that your beau is not dating others. Until you agree the relationship is ‘exclusive’, it probably is not.

btw, I have commented on here a lot, and I feel that I should offer this disclaimer: I am NOT over 40. I am in my 30’s. I find the posts and discussion on this blog quite relevant to my life.

Bruce Daley September 25, 2006 at 12:03 pm

In the age of the internet, Liz is right, it is better to assume that everyone is dating multiple people. Really how couldn’t they be? With hundreds of choices, only the truly desperate or undesirable pins his or her hopes on one profile. Being adult about it has its advantages, especially when you are not sure someone is right. You can say “Listen, I feel bad about not going out with you anymore, but since I know there must be many people you are emailing or having coffee with, I am sure one of them will be a better fit”. It has always surprised me how acknowledging the obvious allows one part, if not friends, at least with good feelings.

Dating Goddess September 25, 2006 at 3:07 pm

While one would think that most people multi-date when on online sites, my experience is both with my friends and dates is that a lot of people are sequential daters. They date one person at a time. This is because they don’t have the time to date around, nor the memory to keep different people’s stories straight!

Bruce Daley September 26, 2006 at 8:45 am

I don’t think that is exactly true. Dating is a process. The best description of it I know is John Gray’s “Venus and Mars on a Date”. While Gray is not the most profound thinker in western intellectual history he does make a lot of sense sometimes. Everyone has multiple profiles they are drooling over, more than one email flirtation going on, several coffee dates planned. A good example are my very efforts to flirt with you and Kelly at the same time in this email.

Bruce Daley September 26, 2006 at 8:48 am

I never thought about it that way. In the back of my mind I vaguely knew that many women regarded me as a fashion accessory (which is why I own my own tux), but to have it spelled out this way! On behalf of all men, I thank you for sharing this insight!

Dating Goddess September 26, 2006 at 9:25 am

Thanks, Bruce. My insinuation that a man is an accessory is tongue in cheek, but we do use the phrase “arm candy” to imply that we like having someone who looks good with us. This is true for both sexes.

Dating Goddess September 26, 2006 at 9:30 am

Hi Bruce. Who’s Kelly? And this is a flirt? 🙂

I know some balance several simultaneous flirtations, however I stand by my opinion that many don’t. Most that don’t tell me it’s too much work, and they’d rather focus on one at a time.

Bruce Daley September 28, 2006 at 10:14 am

Actually I don’t think that is entirely true. As my Dad says, a little coldness at the beginning of relationship goes a lot futher than a lot of warmth. Nothing is more appealing than someone who seems to be thinking “Humm, I could do better, but he/she might just be acceptable”. Human nature makes that attitude irresitable.

Dating Goddess September 28, 2006 at 11:36 am

Bruce — we often agree. Sometimes we don’t. Here’s an instance where we don’t. I wouldn’t be drawn to someone who had an attitude of “I could do better.” That would be off-putting to me. So I guess I’m the opposite of you, your dad, and perhaps human nature!

Bruce Daley September 29, 2006 at 11:15 am

To be completely honest (and I may get kicked out of guy union for revealing this) every date at some level is a booty call! It is just a question of degree. When it is not is when you don’t call anymore.

Bruce Daley September 29, 2006 at 11:18 am

Kelly? I meant Liz.

Bruce Daley September 29, 2006 at 11:20 am

I am sorry to hear that Goddess! Although I know I could do better, I thought you just might be at the lower end of my range. Liz are you reading this? Doing anything tonight?

Dating Goddess September 29, 2006 at 11:47 am

Bruce: I hope you don’t get kicked out of the guy union! We need your candor.

Some guys just seem more, um, shall we say desiring a booty call than others. It’s hard to weed out those who are just saying what they need to to get in the sack and those who actually mean those sweet things.

Dating Goddess September 29, 2006 at 11:54 am

Bruce, “Lower end” of what range? I imagine I’m at the top of the “I could never do better than her” range. 🙂
BTW, if you’re going to flirt with others, (e.g., Liz) you can’t let the woman you’re putting the make on see! First rule of dating — and as experienced a dater as you are, I’d have thought you’d know that. Every woman likes to believe she has 100% of your attention, so under no circumstances do you flirt with another in your date’s presence. Bad form. Somehow I don’t think you’d like it if I flirted with the waiter when we have dinner next month. 🙂

Liz September 30, 2006 at 8:02 am

Bruce,

While it’s probably safe to say that most men–and most women–want and expect sex as part of a relationship or even outside of one, I think that booty call implies that sex is ALL that one wants out of the relationship or at least out of that particular date/encounter with that person. Obviously sometimes we meet somebody we are hot for, but still desire more.

Bruce Daley October 2, 2006 at 1:44 pm

Am I a lot of work? Well frankly yes. My energy level is high, my intellectual curiosity is broad, and my personality expansive. If I stop to watch TV I usually fall asleep. That is why my Yahoo profile is Trophy_Husband_Someday. Like radiation, I am therapeutic in small doses, fatal in large ones.

Bruce Daley October 2, 2006 at 1:53 pm

Every woman I am with on a date has 120% of my attention and I agree its bad form to flit with anyone other than the girl you brought to the dance. It is only when I am not with her (whoever her is) that my attention wanders.

Since we will be having dinner in San Francisco, as long as the waiter is not flirting with me things well be alright.

Bruce Daley October 2, 2006 at 2:02 pm

You are right Liz. The fact most men and women expect sex is what makes dating different from other forms of social interaction. As the proud recipient of some booty calls (i.e. let’s get together after I go out with my Latin girlfriends…I’ll be there at midnight) you are also right about the difference between booty calls and dates where you attempt to get to know the other person better. Thanks for showing me the path.

Dating Goddess October 2, 2006 at 4:41 pm

So you’re now using my blog to advertise your online profile? You are shameless, Bruce!

That said, ladies check out his profile. If we could just get him to take off that hat, his primary photo is kinda cute. But know his profile name isn’t Trophy_Husband_Someday, it’s really Trophy_Husband_Later. (Note to Bruce: Check out my posting “Is that you? Photos are rough facsimiles of the real thing.”)

Steve Mertz October 2, 2006 at 7:57 pm

Goddess-who besides you mom said you were “medium” maintenance? Just having fun with you.

I think anyone who comes home after work and just wants to veg-needs a new career, new people in their life etc…Life should not be that big of a drain, I hope!

Dating Goddess October 2, 2006 at 8:25 pm

Bruce:
What if the waiter flirts with both of us? Could be an interesting night!
And you’ll be juggling at least two women, so how will you give each of us 120% of your attention?

Bruce Daley October 3, 2006 at 9:08 am

Thanks for the kind words Goddess! My Yahoo profile is actually “House Trained Now – Trophy Husband Later”.

Bruce Daley October 3, 2006 at 9:13 am

If he flirts with both of us does that mean we will both have to leave a tip?

And excuse me, how I will be juggling two women? Is Liz coming to dinner too?

OD October 4, 2006 at 3:47 am

Excellent insight, what a refreshing change. Well done. 🙂

Bruce Daley October 4, 2006 at 9:16 am

I looked it up and you on at 4:00 am in my city! Well I guess it will be a late night!

uewoso October 4, 2006 at 10:02 am

Yo! Goddess! There are two kinds of maintenance and women usually only think of the first one:
A. Financial. you want gifts, tickets, restaurants and always, always “fine” wine.
B. Psychological. you are a drama queen, needing constant reassurance, compliments and quality time.

The key is to find a balanced mate willing to give you what you want.
And you give him what he wants, which may be peace and silence, at least sometimes.
See Rob Becker’s play, “Defending the Caveman.”

And BTW, I don’t think you answered my question as to what you bring to the table by way of reciprocity for your list of characteristics you want in a man…

Dating Goddess October 4, 2006 at 10:21 am

Hi Joel:
Thanks for the clarity about maintenance levels.
Actually, I did answer your question. Go to http://datinggoddess.wordpress.com/2006/09/22/why-men-go-poof/ to read my response.

Dating Goddess October 4, 2006 at 10:23 am

Well, you should be just about dragging yourself home from those Denver bars around then, so the timing is right!
There’s always TiVo

Male Call October 4, 2006 at 2:55 pm

Bruce, you’re officially out of the guy union…how can you even consider divulging the secret that guys … want … sex?! And to think we had the gals all fooled ….

OK, we won’t kick you out, but you do get a five-game suspension.

Bruce Daley October 5, 2006 at 3:02 pm

Very true, but as you know well Goddess timing is key in life.

communicatrix October 5, 2006 at 3:39 pm

This is such a well-written, wry and delightfully comprehensive document, were I the recipient, I would probably sleep with the guy even though he broke my cardinal rule about lying.

Yes, it’s *that* good.

Of course, I’ve had several men tell me that I lean to the masculine side of androgyny, including my current partner, whom I met online, btw.

But the genius of the document is that it pre-screens for at least medium-term compatibility, which it seems your friend is after.

Congratulate him for me, if you would, and wish him the best of luck. I’d be fascinated to hear what his response rate is like.

Dating Goddess October 5, 2006 at 4:48 pm

I will pass on your congratulations, although when I spoke to him today it seems he is beginning to read this blog, so perhaps he’ll read your comments himself!
Since he is now married (drat for us women!) to a wonderful woman, he no longer has a need for the document. We thought sharing it might help others.
He’s such a charming guy, I’d bet the response was close to 100% acceptance.
He also shared another document he used to track his potential dates, which I’ll share the gist of in a later post. Stay tuned!

Dating Goddess October 5, 2006 at 8:56 pm

George asked me to post his response:

Dear Communicatrix….

THANK YOU very much for your comment. I like your screen name very much, by the way.

The woman I married is the only date I never showed it to. Now, she carries a copy in her purse to show people what a weird guy she married.

Since you like the disclosure approach, here’s something else you might care to snag for your own dating adventures: We decided to open the closets and confess everything that might be a concern for the other. I always live by the assumption that we all talk in our sleep. I’d never want to wake up with someone asking what I’d been talking about during the night. If it’s true, get it out.

In our case, my confessions were along the lines of, “Well there was that one time in Bangkok with the two girls….” My wife would counter with, “I once got an A minus in med school.”

I’m a big fan of Goddess’s and wish you all well.

George

Lissa October 6, 2006 at 9:27 am

Delightful! I’m going to look for you on the Greg Behrendt Show today! Very cool! 🙂
Hugs,
Lissa

communicatrix October 6, 2006 at 11:56 am

> He also shared another document he used to track his potential dates

Oooo!!! An Excel spreadsheet? I had one of those!

Bruce Daley October 9, 2006 at 12:20 pm

This is really one of your best posts ever. If everyone had this philosophy, the world of on-line dating and the world in general would be a better place.

Dating Goddess October 9, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Thank you, Bruce. I’m glad you like this one. It is really the crux of dating positively and not getting jaded in the process. It’s the same philosophy I have in life, which is full of ups and downs. The ability to learn from the downs helps you focus more on the ups.

Jenny S. October 9, 2006 at 4:48 pm

I had the same hit as Linda P. He sounds like someone who has discovered exactly the right things to say that women want to hear. Please do post the outcome so we can see that a guy that sounds too good to be true really does exist and isn’t just a player.

communicatrix October 9, 2006 at 6:30 pm

I agree with your comment, above: this is a great attitude to have about pretty much anything. If you can learn to live in the moment and reduce attachment to outcome, life becomes an endless series of fascinating, enriching experiences.

For the record, I’m also a (retired) 40+ online dater (45 now) who met my perfect partner online almost 2 years ago. And while I had my heart and ego bruised on the way, I would not have traded the experiences for anything. Because I wouldn’t be who I am, nor achieved what I had, without them.

My only regret is that I didn’t hear about this here blogging thing until late in the game. Oh, to have been blogging back in ’02!

Dating Goddess October 11, 2006 at 11:06 am

Hi Jenny:

The jury is still out on Dreamboat. We have intermittent contact. He was traveling all but 2 days last month. He claims that his lack of calling me from the road does not mean he doesn’t care about me, but I am doubtful. If he calls, yes I will go out with him, as one friend pointed out that after only 3 dates there isn’t necessarily the expectation of regular contact. However, my guy pals tell me that if they are interested in someone and on the road, they will still call once or twice a week to check in.

So, we will see. In the meantime, I’m exploring other guys. 🙂

smartie October 11, 2006 at 1:07 pm

I totally agree with you, men today are just out for one thing… correction MOST men (I do have brothers you know). It’s difficult to be strong but lots of women forget how much power they really have, how much say they really have. We must not give in to the bullying tactics or the overpowering nature of the chilvary-deficient men out there… Then again I was out this weekend and I saw the way women (young and old) carried themselves and it’s no wonder men are behaving badly. I am in my early 20’s and I have to say that THIS is not what I bargained for.

Dating Goddess October 11, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Smartie:

Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think women forget how much power we have, especially if we like the guy and think that saying no will send him packing. Actually, it often means he will be respectful and attentive.

When you say “THIS is not what I bargained for” what do you mean?

Jim October 11, 2006 at 11:42 pm

Your appearance is on youtube. You first appear on the very last part of this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orydywhxm-o

Most of your appearance is on the start of this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfkc_83mOQQ

BTW – you are very attractive!

Jim October 12, 2006 at 12:01 am

Although I have never written it down, this basically parallels what I say fairly soon when getting to know a woman. I firmly believe in setting people’s expectations as quickly as possible in any type of relationship [business or pleasure] because all people can easily misunderstand both verbal and written communication. I have done a of of international business and have learned the hard way that misunderstandings can easily happen. One of the reasons I don’t date women under 45 [I am 60] is the wanting children situation and the differences between my life goals and theirs. like me slowing down my work life versus their being in the middle of their career [although if an interesting start-up comes my way I could be back to 65 hour weeks real quick]. As I see it why waste some-one’s time if my life style is incompatible with theirs.

knight October 12, 2006 at 10:29 am

Glad I found this site, I’ve been searching for something like this for awhile now.

Dating Goddess October 12, 2006 at 3:16 pm

Knight:

Welcome to my world! Introduce yourself a bit — by your name I’d guess you’re a guy. How old? How’d you find the site? What are you wanting to learn?

veriveriteri October 16, 2006 at 12:00 pm

Mmmmmm… I have a man just like that. Never a complaint. And believe me, there is plenty to complain about! And no drama. It’s been fifteen months of perpetual dating and it just gets better. My friends ask if we will move in together and I say, “What? Then there would be drama!”

I love it.

veriveriteri October 17, 2006 at 5:28 am

I date for fun. That’s it. I make it clear up front that I’m not looking for a long term relationship and if that’s what they’re looking for, they should look elsewhere. I’ve had nothing but a great time dating since becoming single again seven years ago. (I had a great time dating when I was pre-marriage single, as well.)

Of course, I don’t think a long term relationship is something to “look” for. It just happens. And I am positive that I could never know whether or not someone is right for me to marry until I’ve known them quite awhile. I’ve had four marriage proposals since my divorce. I’ve considered all of them seriously. But time revealed that none of them was a good match (or, more likely, that I wasn’t). Since then, I’ve realized that marriage is not for me. I do see myself eventually settling on one man (my current beau and I having been together for over a year now), but I don’t see any reason to get the law involved! 🙂

kare anderson October 17, 2006 at 11:25 am

How synchronistic. Last Tuesday, in Cleveland at a conference dinner the man to my left shared with me that his son came back from Iraq two months ago – without a leg – and he’d been sharing Art’s tapes and books with his son. Strange how one person’s impact can be so strong, years later that two stangers’ eyes can well up, while we smile in that moment.

Powerfully heartfelt and honest writing in this post and past posts… You, too, are inspiring.

– Kare

Male Call October 17, 2006 at 12:57 pm

DG,
We’re a little hurt. Since when is writing about sex, beer and, when we can get away with it, lingerie, not relevant?!
Fondly,
MC

Donna Cutting October 18, 2006 at 2:56 am

“I’d rather be looked over than overlooked” – also Mae West

Middle-Aged women gone wild? Sign me up!

Josiane Feigon October 18, 2006 at 3:42 pm

Great topic-
Such an intimate zone we move into here- had to get an Ambien prescription just to get me through my first few sleepovers:)

Dating Goddess October 18, 2006 at 3:52 pm

Yes, Josiane, they can be sleep depriving! Any other guidelines you think I should add?

Belinda October 18, 2006 at 9:32 pm

I love this blog! I spent the last week falling almost-in-love with a man via telephone since we have both been out of town on business trips. Every now and then, a little “if it’s too good to be true it probably isn’t” crept into my mind, but I persevered. Tonight, one week and close to 18 hours of calls later (!!!!) I was to meet my new Romeo at 5:30. Last night’s call was a little rocky, because he wanted to accuse his former wife (he’s been out of the marriage for ten years!) of being cunning, evil, vile, wrong, deceitful, petty, etc. I gently told him what forgiving my former husband had done for me. Romeo expoded, yelling into the phone that I was insane and simplifying his very difficult situation which I obviously didn’t understand. I said in my softest voice, “Being a victim is a choice, of course. I’m sure it is serving you or you would be your usual optimistic self.” OK, maybe that was wrong. But at 5:10, as I was putting on the last eye of mascara, he called to say he was canceling our date – 20 minutes before it began!!!! Part of me knows I should be glad I got out early, and yet part of me wants to cry myself to sleep tonight. The “perfect” parts were so wonderful. Boo hoo hoo. At least this newest debacle helped me find this site for sympathy and succor.

Dating Goddess October 18, 2006 at 10:12 pm

Belinda:

I’m glad you like my writings. It seems we share the same philosophy.

While I’m sad your perfect guy cancelled, aren’t you glad he showed his true colors now rather than after you’d spent weeks or months with him? He did you a favor, as I know you know, canceling. Now you will more easily recognize the great parts in the next great guy — who doesn’t also carry the anger issues.

Thanks for joining the Dating Goddess family!

Liz October 19, 2006 at 6:04 am

re: the lingerie
I wouldn’t mind a guy giving me such a gift if we had already had such occasions to wear it. If I hadn’t had sex with the guy yet, I would find that creepy unless we had been together a long time, were in love, and had delayed sex for some reason.

Steve Mertz October 19, 2006 at 10:59 am

So…How did you look in the lingerie 😉

Dating Goddess October 19, 2006 at 11:46 am

Hi Steve:

I look maaaaaavelous, of course! It goes well with my tiara. Shall I model it for you? 🙂

Steve Mertz October 20, 2006 at 7:20 pm

Don’t know if my heart could take it!!

Dating Goddess October 20, 2006 at 7:48 pm

Steve:

Your heart needs a little jump starting!

joan October 23, 2006 at 9:44 am

Yes am also in the same boat….I always ask myself why?? Why???

Dating Goddess October 23, 2006 at 10:25 am

Joan:

That’s a good start. Now start looking for the lesson. What did you learn? How can you not repeat it?

Bruce Daley October 23, 2006 at 3:50 pm

Glad to hear you did not have to kiss this toad to discover he is no prince. Looooser!

Bruce

Jean October 23, 2006 at 6:12 pm

I have found dating past 50 or 60 a trying experience at best. Most of the men I have dated have so many problems I am completely astounded as to how they have not been committed. I soon decided that I must try dating through a third party, one that can test your compatibility on more than 39 dimensions. I know you know the site that I am referring to. Well, I guess in my case one more Dimension should have been included before pairing me up with another bad choice.

Hey I know women have their share of problems, but why do I keep walking into the Garden of Love only to come out with another lemon. Picking anything this day is an art form.

Jean October 23, 2006 at 6:14 pm

What I learned was to stay out of the Garden of Love and try hiking a huge mountain instead. At least that way even though you are alone, it will end with a better accomplishment in your life.

Jim October 24, 2006 at 1:52 am

Most web sites are poorly designed and most people are computer illiterate. Usually, this is actually a good thing, since I would rather my dentist know zero about computers and lots about how to fix teeth as painlessly as possible. While the guy should have been a little smoother about his response, I can easily see how he could be lead into the intellectual trap he fell into. When I was investigating “dating” web sites, because I am a technologist, I usually noted in my profile that I was not a full member and could not respond to messages. Even with that caution, I would get long missives trying to start a conversation that I could not respond to because people just do not understand the complexities of the technology they are trying to use. NOTE even though I have several hardware and software patents for the PC or Mac you are currently using, I still have problems with some of the web sites as they are designed so poorly, so blame the technology not the users. On the flip side, I recommend that everyone be very gentle in all communication, as written language can be sooooo easily misunderstood.

Bruce Daley October 24, 2006 at 4:10 pm

We are all putty in your hands Goddess!

Donna Cutting October 24, 2006 at 8:09 pm

Love the term “Toad Rage.” It really “Pops!” 🙂

Donna

Catherine October 24, 2006 at 9:38 pm

It’s nice to know I wasn’t misreading the “signs” when a recent first date did almost everything listed above, he DID just want a “booty call”. While flattering, the “yuck” factor was pretty high, and I wondered if “EASY” was tatooed across my face when I wasn’t looking. Honestly guys, telling a woman your favorite sexual positions on the first date won’t get you a second date!

Bruce Daley October 27, 2006 at 1:13 pm

Are you saying that heaven is run by the USPS?

Dennis Harnisch October 28, 2006 at 7:27 am

I took a 7,600 mile flight from the USA into the former USSR to meet my bride whom I had found on a Russian dating/marriage agency web site. That eventful morning I stopped on the way to the airport and bought her a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates. I wrapped the stems in a small water soaked towel inside several plastic bags which I carried on board with me. As I transferred flights and waited in terminals, I carried these red roses everywhere. It opened up many conversations of interest along the way.

To say the least, my then future bride, was very astonished and pleased when I handed her these roses at the airport where we first met in person! This gift was a topic of conversation for her to tell all her girl friends and family! Three weeks later when I met her young adult daughter, the roses were still alive and she too was so amazed that I could do this and was pleased for her mother.

Such little effort went such a long way! My “habit” continues today as I still bring her replenishing fresh flowers in our romantic life together. The main thing is that she is so easy to please and appreciates what I do for her which in turn keeps the fire lit in me, in her and in our relationship!

Catherine October 28, 2006 at 10:28 pm

I have also noticed this trend along with some very inappropriate photos posted with men’s profiles. Sometimes I just sit and shake my head and wonder “What was he thinking when he posted that photo?” Guys, the photos of you looking mean, angry, or showing off your mastery of martial arts weapons will not attract a woman unless you are looking for a like minded woman.

Dating Goddess October 29, 2006 at 10:55 am

Catherine — I think you hit the nail on the head. I think they are looking for a like-minded woman. The only challenge is that there are far fewer women who participate in or enjoy martial arts, motorcycles, extreme sports, etc. But maybe he is willing to wait for that one in a million.
While I don’t disapprove of those mostly guy activities, I think showcasing them in photos can be off putting to many women. It’s fine to disclose you like those things, but too much emphasis on them makes me — and I think many women — just click on the next profile. I know I do that when a man describes all the physical activities he’s involved in. It makes me tired just reading about them!

Bruce Daley October 30, 2006 at 3:57 pm

In dating putting your best foot forward is always a sound policy. So if revealing your accomplishments is going to result in an invitation or help you close the deal, I say go for it!

BTW did I mention that Nobel Peace prize I was nominated for recently?

Bruce Daley October 30, 2006 at 4:04 pm

Great advice!

Steve Mertz October 30, 2006 at 4:52 pm

Dear Goddess, I’m sending you an over night delivery of WD-40 to keep that revolving door lubed up 🙂

Liz October 30, 2006 at 8:46 pm

MMMMM, mail order brides. Um, somehow not my idea of romantic.

Ms Annie D October 31, 2006 at 3:38 pm

Ahhh yes. Juggling men.

Have you resorted yet to putting each of them and their “bios” on separate index cards? I know women who have done this!

Rocket Man sounds interesting…

cathouseteri October 31, 2006 at 6:04 pm

Is Mr. 400 miles married?

Nancy October 31, 2006 at 7:06 pm

If heaven were run by the USPS it would sure explain my two ex-husbands!

Nancy October 31, 2006 at 7:17 pm

I’ve been trying online dating off and on for years now, and it seems to me that it’s all backwards. In “real” life, you see or meet someone, there’s a little spark on both parts, so you get to know each other.

Online dating, however, is opposite. You get to know someone, invest time in email, telephone exchanges, then meet and —-PHHHHTTT. Nothing. No chemistry. But you have this false sense of intimacy because you’ve gotten to know this person. Then comes the awkward parting where one of you has to be the brave one who says, “Well, that was fun! Goodbye!” and then the disappointment hits as you drive home alone once more. It’s like serial blind dating. Torturous.

I’m writing myself a letter to tell myself to NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!!! I always end up aggravated and saying I’ll never do it again. But then months go by and I get tired of never meeting anyone dateable and before you know it I’m whipping out my credit card and inflicting this torture on myself again. OY!

Nancy October 31, 2006 at 7:24 pm

I’m not looking for marriage, either, but I would like a long-term relationship. I don’t think it’s fair to the guy to keep dating him when I know I’m not really attracted to him. It feels too much like using him, so I generally end it if I think there’s no long-term potential there. I’ve kept a few as friends, but the non-attraction has to be mutual for that to work.

Dating Goddess November 1, 2006 at 9:44 am

Nancy — You are doing the right thing by letting them go when there isn’t an attraction. That is the hardest part of dating.

Dating Goddess November 1, 2006 at 10:28 am

Nancy — yes, it can be frustrating. But “real” life meeting someone can too, in that you meet someone you feel attracted to and he’s attached or not interested. At least w/online dating I’ve found I can learn a bit about his personality before meeting. Yes, sometimes even with developing a fondness beforehand you can have no spark. But I’ve also had the opposite happen where there wasn’t a lot of spark ahead of time and when we met there was.

So I don’t think there’s a perfect solution. However, I think that online dating speeds up the process more than hoping to meet people at parties, events, and bars. That gets demoralizing if no one is interested in you, or only men who you aren’t drawn to.

Maybe we should wish for arranged marriages to become more popular here? 🙂

Bruce Daley November 1, 2006 at 12:37 pm

We all long to go back to simplier times. Why don’t you do it the old fashion way – invite them all over, give them bats clubs, and date the last man standing?

Jean November 1, 2006 at 1:09 pm

You almost have to date several dates before you can actually find “Mr. Almost Right.” Weeding through a complex dating maze of men that are ” It’s All Me, or “I am a Fun kinda Guy” and lets not forget the “I Am Only Looking For Ms. Right”, I have learned that dating several can bring you to a better understanding of whats out there. Or not out there, depending on how you wish to see it. So I say let the index cards begin….

Dating Goddess November 1, 2006 at 5:20 pm

Annie, Bruce and Jean:

No index cards here. I’ll share how I track my guys in a posting very soon.

And Bruce, no clubbing — at least not the kind you are suggesting. I’m non-violent! And besides, I’m not looking for the strongest brute, just the one that can melt my heart. How are you at heart-melting?

Jean — yes, dating multiple guys helps you quickly see what works and doesn’t for you. It also prevents you from being in scarcity mode and thinking you have to hang out with someone who isn’t for you just because you’re afraid of being alone.

Thanks for all your comments!

Jim November 3, 2006 at 12:53 am

Obviously, there is something wrong with me since I can’t imagine asking that question except possibly to a long term lover who would probably answer quite candidly that she had on her winter night gown. My guess is these “Mr. Smooths” are trying to steer the conversation around to sex to gauge whether they have a chance of getting lucky. I think women should just ignore it and change the direction of the conversation.

Stacey November 3, 2006 at 9:52 am

I try to be clever and respond “Not a stitch!!” This usually gets a laugh as it is blatantly obvious I’m lying and then the potential for a sexually charged conversation has been defused.

Bruce Daley November 3, 2006 at 10:12 am

As is so often the case in the early stages of dating dishonesty is the best policy. FYI As I am writing the comment I am wearing my old Chipendales costume (I use to moonlight in college to pay for my tution). Surprised it still fit, but I guess all those sit ups I have been doing have really payed off!

Bruce Daley November 3, 2006 at 10:19 am

If I answer this question can we have sex?

Dating Goddess November 3, 2006 at 10:37 am

Bruce — very clever, trying to make a deal here. However, you aren’t wearing a funny enough costume to play. Maybe that Chippendale’s costume will get you chosen as a contestent.

Male Call November 3, 2006 at 1:35 pm

“So, describe to me what you’re wearing” is the stereotypical icebreaker that is a prelude to an erotic phone conversation. Essential skill to have in, say, a long-distance relationship. Or with Tiffany at that 900-number. And me? Lederhosen.

Dating Goddess November 3, 2006 at 2:33 pm

I’m sure you look cute in your Lederhosen!

Good to know from you guys why the conversation is started. And good to know from some of the gals how to focus it on non-sexual topics. I have smart readers!

Liz November 3, 2006 at 6:22 pm

You mean they say that SERIOUSLY? I thought that was a commonly known joke. The joke is that is what an obscene caller would say.

Elena November 4, 2006 at 1:06 am

I agree with you. The Funny Passions gimmick is lame. Everyone thinks that they have a sense of humor and everyone says that having one is important in a relationship. Another problem is that there are some people who can be extremely witty on paper (in writing) but in person, in a one-on-one conversation, their jokes and attempts at humor bomb. So to make humor the primary basis for forming a relationship is a recipe for disaster. I don’t think Match.com or Yahoo Personals or any of the other bigger online dating services have anything (competitively) to worry about.

Liz November 4, 2006 at 5:50 am

Wait–I have a cheezier line you can use:

Him: What are you wearing?

You: A great big smile now that you called!

Liz November 6, 2006 at 8:31 am

I think it’s very sad that a grown woman has to ask permission to be in control of her own sexuality–her own body. What a statement about our society!

Dating Goddess November 6, 2006 at 10:05 am

Hi Liz:

I don’t think she is asking permission. Sorry if my writing implied that. She’s a very smart, accomplished woman. She wanted to know what the expectations were so she could create a strategy in advance on how to deal with them.

Liz November 6, 2006 at 11:19 am

Question: “So what if he wants to go to second or third base and you’re not ready?”

Answer: OBVIOUSLY you don’t do anything you don’t want to do. If he has different expections and pressures or coerces you, there is a word for that: RAPE!

Christine November 7, 2006 at 2:36 pm

It’s amazing how healthy you are in the middle of all of these personalities and dating scenarios! You never seem to personalize things and you always project the utmost respect for the differences you find in people. You sound so grounded and fearless! I’m in awe. I, however, have never worked out my fear of rejection with men, making the dating scene at this age a landmine. Maybe a therapist is a good idea – someone to help me learn to put that ego aside and relax into the process. Thanks!

Dating Goddess November 7, 2006 at 3:05 pm

Christine:

Wow! What a lovely note. I am so in the middle of it I don’t know that it seems healthy and grounded to others. I do get hooked sometimes, but I’m told I have a unique view of dating which is why I’ve been encouraged to share in the blog (and now subsequent book!).

Yes, therapy would be a good step. We are all rejected at some level so good to work through that with a professional.

Kelly November 7, 2006 at 8:50 pm

I loved your page, I suffer severe depression and am always looking for encouragement to get through the long days and I saw this and immediately printed it out and taped it to my refrigerator so I’ll see it every day. God bless you and a million thank yous!

Kelly November 7, 2006 at 8:51 pm

THANK YOU ART!!

mary November 9, 2006 at 9:18 am

My 17 year old daughter and her friends are well aware of their generations dating rules. That doesn’t mean they do anything they don’t want to, but by generational consenses there is a body of expectations. For example, oral sex is not really sex to her generation and if a couple have been together for three monthes or more there will be some expectation that the girl will go down on the boy (I think her generation is very sexist in that this not usually a reciprocal interaction). After six monthes usually they will have had intercourse. I am not placing a value judgement on this “rule” and these young women are quite in control, they dump any guy who gives them grief. but they know the cultural context of their dating world. Middle aged women reentering the dating scene often don’t have a group of dating friends to guide them. I think this is what the freshman is asking for.

Liz November 9, 2006 at 9:31 am

Mary, so you see this as a question about what is normal for a certain age range in today’s dating scene? That makes sense, but I still find it puzzling that a woman would call these rules as if by her mature age she wouldn’t start setting her own rules–without being told it’s ok to do so.

san November 10, 2006 at 5:41 am

Excellent. I will add this link to our Resource centre website – you’ve done a great job.

sahil November 10, 2006 at 5:44 am

excellent blog

butterflygirl November 12, 2006 at 12:58 pm

I think tenderness is very important. If he doesn’t value your feelings in the beginning it’s not likely to show up later, especially if he’s not open to discussing it. I’ve made that mistake more than once. It’s not what I want in my life and not what I would want my daughter to learn about relationships.

Cupertino November 12, 2006 at 1:17 pm

While we can all be overly sensitive at times to perceived slights, I don’t think that’s the case here. He wants to make a good impression, and shows his caring in many ways, but he’s deaf to the impact of his words.

I think you have to call him on it. Every time. Right then. He has a habit which is not conducive to your happiness in the relationship, and the solution is for him to change the habit, not for you to become inured to it. He might be unwilling to look at himself and change, and that will end a promising connection, but it wouldn’t be a good connection for you in the long run anyway. But if he’s made aware of what he’s doing, when he’s doing it, it just might be what he needs to begin to behave more consciously.

Linda November 14, 2006 at 6:47 am

I have been in a relationship with a man I met on a dating webiste, for almost two years. I saw his profile, liked what I read, and contacted him. We wrote back and forth, through the website, then exchanged IM addresses and started chatting, daily. We shared our lives, pictures of each other, children, grand children, hopes, dreams, and phone calls. He lives in Australia, but called me, often. We talked daily, almost from the beginning of our meeting, and this continued for several months, going into over a year and a half.

When I had to make a trip back east, to have surgery, he called my daughter’s home, spoke to her, and called me several times, just to see how I was doing, telling me he loved me, told me of places he wanted to take me, making plans to bring me to his city in South Australia, telling me we would even marry on the beach in Queensland. We shared our lives with each other, and now, after almost two years of almost daily chatting, phone calls, the plans we made, the love we shared, the things he told me, shared with me, his everyday activities, the connection is gone.

The last time I heard from him was October 5. He called me to tell me he was finally going to be able to make his trip to the US, to visit some friends in Missouri, and that he was coming to get me, to spend time with me, so we could start this life we had talked about and planned. He had said a few months before that he had been diagnosed with an incurable neurological disease, and while I knew it was a serious condition, I told him that I would stand by him and support him, as nothing would prevent me from loving him, wanting to be his confidante and support. Isn’t that what love is? Isn’t that what one does when one loves another? I am a strong woman and this was the man I loved, unconditionally, even though we had not met, face to face. I trusted him, believed him, honored him, respected him to be a man of integrity, and loved him because of what we had shared, in words and thoughts. We had shared so much over the past year and a half, and I thought I knew him, that all the pieces of the puzzle fit.

I sent him IM messages, to try to find out what happened, did I say something to upset him…..then started to send him email messages, to try to get an answer in that way. I called him, left him voice mails. Nothing. I’ve been through the sadness, the all consuming sorrow of trying to figure out what has happened, why it happened, what I could have done wrong, what I could have done differently, anything to try to figure out what happened and why he’s just disappeared, after everything we shared on a daily basis, for almost two years. And what made it worse was I knew he was getting the messages, those emails, that his email address was still intact, his voice mail was still accepting my messages, so I knew he was getting those messages that I was sending to him, but he just wasn’t answering them.

I’ve come to the realization that I”m not the one who let him down…..he’s the one who let me down. I put it out there, for him, and he just wasn’t the one that would put it out there, for me. Why he played me for almost two years is a mystery, but it doesn’t really matter what he’s done or not done. What matters is what I do. I have decided I’m just too much woman for him, too intense, too deep, just too much for him to handle. I wish him well, and hope he will find someone who brings him what he needs to complete his life, to compliment his wants and needs. I still love him, and I think I always will. I’ve been celibate, by choice for almost 20 years, while raising my children, after my last divorce, and I know Ive got a lot to offer the man who wants to be loved from the inside out, in an extreme fashion, but next time I get involved, if there is a next time, I’ll tread a lot softer, and take my time venturing into the arena of romance. I’m sure he’s a good person. Of that I have no doubt and I dont’ blame him, except for the fact that he just stopped communicating, and in my mind, he should have just told me what was up. I would have respected him for the truth. In any case, I’ll go on and I still believe in wonderful romance and loving someone to their core. I’m not giving up. I’m just too much woman to do that. 🙂

Dating Goddess November 14, 2006 at 10:32 am

Linda:

Thanks so much for sharing your story.

> I have decided I’m just too much woman for him, too intense, too deep, just
> too much for him to handle.

Absolutely! This is exactly what I decided about my recent experience. Strong, together women are too much for a man who isn’t our equal. But they can’t admit that so they go poof!

I’m vowing to not spend so much time w/someone before there is a meeting set up. I figure I invested about 100 hours from start to finish, talking for hours nightly, then 3 days of total attention. I need to know there is more a mutual connection (which I thought there was with this guy) before I do this again.

Thanks again for your insightful story.

Nancy November 15, 2006 at 10:35 am

DG – Sometimes it’s just hard to know what the best thing is until hindsight kicks in. I still kick myself for one of my choices. I was dating a man long distance and I eventually came to know that it wasn’t going to progress and it was time to break up. I thought it would be rotten to break up with him over the phone so I planned a trip to see him. I took him out to dinner (okay, it was really stupid, and I still blush to think of it). We were sitting in a very private area and I explained that while I thought a lot of him, I knew it wasn’t going to go anywhere and so was breaking it off. Now I know I should have done it over the phone, but I was trying to do the right thing. I wanted to give him a chance to see me face-to-face and express whatever he felt he needed to. I think my biggest mistake was to not ask one of my male friends for his advise on whether I should have done it on the phone. I guess it’s just always a good lesson that just because what someone does *seems* caddish, doesn’t always mean they are a cad.

Dating Goddess November 15, 2006 at 10:48 am

Nancy — you are so right about someone’s behavior being caddish, but their intentions weren’t.
I think it is hard to break up over dinner. Do you pretend everything is fine until dessert, then lay it on him? That doesn’t seem right. If you tell him early on, then the rest of the meal can be awkward. I think over coffee or at one or your houses is a good strategy for in-person breakups. Not the car, as you are then both trapped.
What do other readers think about where to break up?

Christine November 16, 2006 at 5:01 am

I absolutely love this post! I can think of quite a few very good women who have let the horse win – I’m directing them all here for the encouragement they need to climb back on!

Nancy November 16, 2006 at 9:34 am

It’s a great question. I’ll be awfully interested in the replies you get. There really is no way to do it to make it okay for that person. They’ll be in charge of making it okay for themselves. The thing to shoot for is an environment and tone that lets the person keep their dignity and respects their feelings. Give them a chance to express something of their hurt, if they want to, without getting defensive.

P.s. I respect how generous you are in your regard for people on both sides of the equation. Even in the midst of a painful experience yourself.

Linda November 19, 2006 at 9:49 am

Hi DG. I don’t have a lot of experience in the “let’s be friends only” department, except with my former spouse. We have been divorced for almost 20 years and we can talk to each other like friends, without any long lost baggage spewing forth.

I think a person, such as yourself, who made your intentions clear, was not leaving anything open for misinterpretation. I think he is in need of some reality checking. I know how it feels when one cares for someone and it’s not given in return, but when one is not led on, or given mixed signals, then it’s the other person who needs to step up and get a grip on himself. And, from what you said about him telling you what he wanted, how he felt about you, what he saw in your future with him, I think that’s a little self serving on his part, and also not very respectful of your feelings, which you made very clear in the beginning.

In his case, I don’t think he’s ready for just a friendship, although he needs a good friend to tell him the truth about how to be a good friend.

Traci November 19, 2006 at 10:43 am

Some people just can’t move from a romantic relationship to friendship–ever. BTW, I found your blog through Bruce’s blog . . . I love it!

lori November 19, 2006 at 10:58 am

If you liked Illusions you should look at a book called Herb’s First 100 Years by Randy Perkins. Another gem.
Lori

Cupertino November 20, 2006 at 1:02 am

It’s a cliche, but most cliches have some truth behind them: men tend to find aspects of a woman’s personality less important than what she looks like, at least at first, and women tend to find what men look like less important than how accomplished/successful/wealthy they are. Warren Farrell wrote many years ago about asking women how they would feel if the warm, caring, intelligent, considerate, humorous, supportive man they met turned out to be a janitor. Many women said they wouldn’t date him.

I think both men and women get caught up in this trap when they select whom to respond to — those who don’t meet the initial test for looks/success never get a chance to display their other qualities. “I deserve someone who is at the top of his field” may be as limiting (and delusional?) as “I deserve someone who is a supermodel.”

Then, too, sometimes the qualities that get a man to the top of his field are not the qualities that produce a partner who is a sensitive listener — something you do find important.

Jan Allen November 20, 2006 at 1:32 pm

Dear Goddess,
I have entertained myself this weekend reading the posts on your blog.

I am a 48 year old woman from the US who moved to Switzerland last year and am trying to date across not only cultural differences (which given the fact that I am a software engineer has always been the case with most men I meet ;-)), but now am traversing linguistic differences as well (they have four “official” languages here — none of which are English.)

On the topic of profession. Yes, I guess it is rather important to me because of the fact is that I want someone who can understand what it is that I do and that takes a certain amount of knowledge and expertise. I also need someone to have had the experience and exposure to people of other cultures and countries that I have had. Since I was from Indiana I always had guys with only a highschool education that thought I was “prime meat” for supporting their families and their cable TV/Budwieser expenses responding to my online dating ads back there. Ick.

I imagine you need someone who complements your life experiences as well and when one is successful and traveled it by default relates to an equal measure of expertise and success in ones partner.
Best Regards,
Jan

Liz November 20, 2006 at 3:56 pm

I agree with Jan that occupation/profession matters because of compatibility — not because I would be impressed that somebody was of a certain profession. Also, sometimes occupation matters because it tells something about the person’s values. I tend to be drawn to artists because I admire someone who devotes his life to artistic pursuits. I’m not always more impressed with an artist who is more successful in terms of commercial success than with one who is not — although success within one’s field CAN be a turn on.

Traci November 21, 2006 at 11:45 am

Gosh, if someone is noticeably irritating on a first date, who wants a second date? Maybe I’m too picky . . .

Dating Goddess November 21, 2006 at 12:10 pm

Hi Traci:

I’ve learned to give men some grace — especially on the first date, as a lot of people are nervous, especially if they haven’t dated much. So sometimes their annoying habits are reduced in subsequent dates, or are overridden by other charming characteristics. However, most times the habits are ingrained. If I care about seeing if we can develop something long term, I may bring up the most annoying habit or two and see if there is a chance he’ll be more conscious about them, just as I would hope he’d do with me.

Steve Mertz November 22, 2006 at 2:52 pm

Goddess, No one can tolerate me long enough for a BTN! I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and keep up with your great information 😉

Online Dating Expert November 25, 2006 at 4:49 pm

Just thought I’d give an online dating tip about my own experiences.

Paid dating sites do have an advantage over free dating sites because they can limit the amount of spammers. People on paid services need to use a credit card which, for the most part, assures that they are a real person that can be tracked back for spamming. Also, social networking sites like myspace are taking over but there are too many people to weed through. Also, they are flooded with spam too.

I recommend signing up on all dating sites and social networking sites if you are serious about meeting the right person. You might find a great date online, at a singles bar, or just walking down the street. However, the more that you, and or, your pictures are exposed to other singles the better chance you will have to find love, friendship, intimacy, a one night stand or whatever you are looking for.

Also, just think, if you find someone you like on a paid site is $20.00 to much money. Yes, it’s great to have the internet free but most free dating sites are full of ads, spam, players. Again, I would suggest using the free services too but just be prepared to figure out who is and is not trying to spam you.

Rachel Sarah November 26, 2006 at 9:25 am

I’m so sorry to hear about your home. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your computer surfaces in the next few days. I really hope you show those guys by getting an awesome book deal!

Traci November 26, 2006 at 6:20 pm

Make sure you notify the credit bureaus . . . Also, the FTC has the best identity theft info: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft// . I had my briefcase stolen back in 2003 with all of my tax docs, portfolio, resume, awards, etc in it. It was horrible, but you can mitigate the damages.

Linda November 27, 2006 at 8:04 am

Hi DG. This doesn’t have anything to do with your current posting, however I need some advice. I wrote to you sometime ago and told you about a man who I had met on a dating website, and we had a very long relationship, shared lives, photos, phone calls, etc., then he disappeared, after telling me he had a terminal disease. I really need your help. I have found him on another website and it appears he’s one of these men who moves from one dating site to another, looking for women to meet. He’s obviously not ill, not dying, and I want to know how to expose him. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Elena November 27, 2006 at 2:27 pm

We are talking about the very first meeting, right? If that’s the case, I would feel relieved if I knew my coffee date had another date planned after our meeting. It makes it so much easier to have a time limit to that first meeting. I’ve thought about doing this myself and I wouldn’t be offended or insulted if I knew that the guy was doing this on the first date. Keeps expectations low and makes that first meeting less anxiety inducing.

Bruce Daley November 28, 2006 at 12:33 pm

As a rule, I don’t introduce my kids to my dates. When I have broken this rule one of two things happens, either the kids become attached and ask me when we are going to get married, or they don’t like my date at all and discourage the relationship. One interesting compromise is to introduce everyone all together – my kids, her kids, her, and me. Then we can go on a collective date and see how the dynamics play out.

Bruce Daley November 28, 2006 at 12:37 pm

Gee Linda, it sounds to me like the guy does have a terminal illiness because you are likely to kill him if you two ever meet. Then again you might have to stand in line.

Bruce Daley November 28, 2006 at 12:40 pm

Good work. When a woman loves a man she often draws the map to her heart for him.

Bruce Daley November 28, 2006 at 12:43 pm

As always, your writing is clean and motivating. This passage was a pleasure to read!

Bruce Daley November 28, 2006 at 12:45 pm

So what do you do to meet the wrong person?

Bruce Daley November 28, 2006 at 12:49 pm

Wait a minute! I thought I was your only better than nothing guy!

Dating Goddess November 28, 2006 at 3:13 pm

Ah, a verbal hug! You are a quick learner!

Elena November 29, 2006 at 7:32 am

Yes, persistence pays off but consistency and reciprocity are so much better. Beats me why being consistent is so difficult for some people.

Dating Goddess November 29, 2006 at 10:22 am

Yes, you are right Elena. I find it interesting that people (men) say one thing, “I don’t want to leave. I want to stay with you,” then send a “have a nice life email” a few days later.
I work to be consistent and congruent. But then I realize my actions may seem incongruent to some. I realize we all change our minds or our feelings change about someone, so our actions change which looks inconsistent if you haven’t communicated what’s going on. I think that’s the key.

Rachel Sarah November 30, 2006 at 8:49 am

You go Bruce! And thanks for the important questions Dating Goddess.

As a single mom for 5+ years, I wish I could say that I have some hard-and-fast rules about The Man Meeting My Kid. But mostly, I go by instinct. As Bruce pointed out — very smart! — if you do let The Date meet your kids, make it a kid-friendly event — as well as short and sweet. I’ve planned a little activity that’s focused around something my daughter will love, like getting ice cream or going to the playground. That way, the focus is on her — and not the Man.

http://www.singlemomseeking.com

Deb November 30, 2006 at 4:29 pm

10 Minutes? Try 6 months, of seeing each other virtually EVERY day. Never asked me out on a date, though, but made it fairly apparent that he WAS interested AND attracted, because he flirted virtually nonstop during our entire 6 month thing. When things got a little rocky (and why wouldn’t they, since he had about six other “female friends” in his life, which I was starting to feel a tad leary about) and he turned to THEM for advice, rather than discuss issues with me, he called one day and said, “I’m not attracted to you anymore.” Nother else. So I inquired … “do you mean personality, something has turned you off that way? Interesting, because I think we have such fun together.” His response: “No, not personality. Physical. I’m not attracted to you physically any more.” ANY MORE? Nothing changed in 6 months, although I did cut my hair shorter … big deal! I don’t know, I found it all very odd, and said, “gee, I never heard to losing physical attraction in such a short time span,” and he said, “Really? I think it’s quite common, actually.” BS! I’m not buying it. I think he just wanted to cause emotional pain, and unfortunately for me, he succeeded. But I succeeded in resisting the urge to call him and figure this whole thing out…..

I’m done now … thanks for reading!

Josiane Feigon December 1, 2006 at 1:38 pm

Feng Shui says not to have open slats on the bed because that promotes infidelity.
Great post Goddess!
J

Dating Goddess December 1, 2006 at 9:17 pm

I guess I need to ask if his bed has slats now, too!

Nancy December 3, 2006 at 12:09 pm

Closure! Or, at least an ending.

Linda December 3, 2006 at 7:18 pm

Hi DG. I wrote you sometime ago, telling you about my so called relationship, that went “poof” after over a year and a half. I asked you about what to do, after I wondered what to do, after he just disappeared, and youi gave me some great information. I not only used the information you gave me, to post my story, to let others know about what happened to me, which gave me a voice and a forum to say what I needed to say, but I’ve also written him a goodbye email, letting him know how I feel about how he ended our relationship. I was civil but I let him know what I thought about how he wasn’t man enough to tell me the truth, chosing instead to lie and hide behind some false reason, by using a serious medical condition as an excuse. Anyone that would go to such lenjths, by lying about their health, going to the extreme of stating they only have a few years to live, then you find out they are not only well, but have posted themselves on another dating site, looking for fresh dates, needs to know how their actions, their lies, hurt and confuse others. No one has the right to use anyone, especially by using a serious medical condition to hide behind. I’m sure he doesn’t care about my email, but it gave me closure and I can now move on, with a positive outlook. Thank you for your forum.

Christine December 3, 2006 at 8:07 pm

I find the “moving on” part so easy to say and incredibly hard to do. After I have opened my heart to someone and established a relationship, it’s extremely painful to have them just evaporate. Of course, I’m not talking about someone who is a casual date, but even then I do get stuck on the “whys” of things when things don’t work out. I guess I also have a fair amount of sadness having picked yet another coward out of the bunch!

Linda December 4, 2006 at 3:44 pm

AMEN to that, DG!!…..Dating with integrity is a GOOD thing. Thanks for bringing this to light!!!!

Sharon December 5, 2006 at 9:33 am

Hi, I disagree with Linda:
I think that by accepting his invitation and knowing how he feels about you, left a ray of hope for him. Obviously you knew this or you wouldn’t have gone to such great lenths to let him know you were only his “escort”. It is not fair to him to continue your freindship knowing that he feels this way. Sorry, I call it like I see it.

Dating Goddess December 5, 2006 at 9:47 am

Hi Sharon:

Thanks for sharing how you see it. I see/saw it differently. Since we’d been pals while he had another girlfriend, I thought we could continue in that vein. I knew he’d carried a torch for me in the past, but thought he was over it.

Sharon December 5, 2006 at 10:03 am

Linda thanks for your story. Have you ever heard “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket?” You fell in love with a man you really didn’t even know. What you are feeling is not sadness about being rejected by a love, but being taken for a fool. In these long distant affairs, (would we even call it that) my advice is to meet the person ASAP and put a time limit continuing the communication if he makes no effort. He can be Mr. Wonderful, in short doses on the phone and electronically, but really he was Mr. Unavailable. Chalk it up as a life lesson and reframe it like this: that at some level he fullfilled YOUR need to have someone there for you, and in a sense you “used” his long distance support to get you throug a difficult time. He has opened the door to your heart and now you can let a real man walk in.

Sharon December 5, 2006 at 10:09 am

PS. My best friend was involved with a man she knew from high school after they became reaquainted at a reunion although he lived thousands of miles away. She spend hundreds of dollars over a 1 1/2 visiting him 4 x’s for short period of times (he came here once). The last time she was there, she went on line on his computer and discovered he was having long distant on line relationships with 2 other woman. When she confronted him,he broke up with her. It was a “make believe” thing but in her head it was so much more. God bless, and look for someone who can be in your life for REAL.

Sharon December 5, 2006 at 10:15 am

I would say that 3 days are too much. Don’t you agree now?

Sharon December 5, 2006 at 10:20 am

Lose him. He sounds like my ex husband. I wish my instincts were as good as yours 15 years ago. Lack of KINDNESS is a #1 deal breaker. It only gets worse when you tolerate it.

Dating Goddess December 5, 2006 at 7:44 pm

When someone comes in from out of town, it is hard to say, “I can see you for an hour today and two hours tomorrow.” You generally want to spend as much time as possible since you know the opportunity is limited.
I learned a lot by spending 3 days with him. This, no doubt, accelerated the decision we weren’t a good match without prolonging contact over several months.
This is why I’m not fond of long-distance romances and usually decline interest from those out of town.

Traci December 6, 2006 at 11:27 am

How does Bruce know that he’s being lied to? Maybe he’s making assumptions based on past experiences.

Bruce Daley December 6, 2006 at 1:06 pm

I first tried that in High School. Its nice to hear the old classics still work!

Bruce Daley December 6, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Start the fire and puker up!

Bruce Daley December 6, 2006 at 1:13 pm

When they say things like “we are divorced we just haven’t filed the papers yet” or “my ex-husband is not really in prision…its more like a 7 – 10 year time out” or “no I really am Paris Hilton” it makes me suspicious, but when they say I am 38 years old or I wear a size 2 then I know they are lying.

Liz December 7, 2006 at 6:42 am

I can’t imagine that any grown woman would fall for this! Like Bruce said, this is something that we learn about by the time we’re through with high school.

Bruce Daley December 7, 2006 at 10:57 am

Thanks Liz! As I have gotten older I have found the best way to seduce a woman is to offer to marry her, buy her a house, and put her kids though college.

Liz December 7, 2006 at 5:10 pm

Bruce, There is a word for people who perform sex acts with other people for payment. I think you know that word. What kind of women have you been seducing?!

Aggressively Single December 8, 2006 at 2:57 pm

Dating Goddess, you are like a, a, a, well, a goddess to me. You’ve helped guide me successfully through my re-entry into the dating world after 14 years. I’m an eager student and fast study, and do get myself into situations that others don’t know how to deal with – such as 3 dates in one day – so thankfully you are there!

Remembering to discuss expectations seems so critical, and even basic. It is harder to remember when you think you have a good thing going on – which should include, as you say, some basic dating and courtesy skills. I had to release my # 1 draft choice last night when he not only blew me off earlier in the day (which he apologized profusely for, but still!) but then was a rude date at a social event later in the evening. My other dating coach tells me we went into this social, food-tasting evening with different expectations – he thought it a great chance to catch up with friends he ran into there, and I thought it more of a couple bonding, really fun time enjoying eachother. It was his opportunity to show me he was proud to have me as my date out in public, and he blew it big time. Especially annoying since I could have taken 3 other very nice men there who would have been very attentive.

But I digress, back to you. I’m with you. I think most everyone would read this kind of invitation as a lovely romantic weekend together, and be taken aback when half of it does not involve you at all. Do you see perhaps a little self-centeredness below the surface here? He is clearly not ready for as much one-on-one time as you thought.

Aggressively Single December 8, 2006 at 3:18 pm

In line with closure, what are some of the great lines we can tell ourselves so our self-esteem doesn’t take an undeserved beating? “He just wasn’t that into me” hasn’t made me feel much better, but I know Dating Goddess has some good, no-fault lines such as the one for the guy who simply preferred a different body type. Overall, if we’re strong enough to put ourselves out there in the risky scary dating world, we should be able to find ways to bounce back much more quickly when something ends, since it’s all part of the process. Any ideas?

Liz December 9, 2006 at 6:09 am

I never cease to be amazed at the things that men will write in dating website email and on their profiles. I also never cease to be amazed at the level of illiteracy of some of these men.

Jamey December 9, 2006 at 3:21 pm

The second gentleman was a scammer. This is indeed a “boilerplate” that they use to try and lure in women. Pretty soon after you start talking to them (and they make full use of lovingyou.com for smarmy romantic phrases) conversation degenerates into some sob story about them being stranded somewhere and needing money, or suddenly sick mother and needing money, or an inheritance tied up needing someone with a legitimate bank account to cash their fraudulent money order. They try to guilt you, or acting angry when you question them. If you don’t respond to the quickly enough in an IM conversation, they will often “buzz!” you with the messenger.

The scammer is most likely in Nigeria.

Quick clues to see a scammer is their use of english. While some of our boys (or girls!) may not be perfect grammatically, or misspell a word from time to time, these cats simply do not have the pattern of our language. Usually because they are using a mechanical translator or some type. Also, they seem to talk about you being their perfect soul mate, talking about relationships, marriage, and commitment in the first email.
The pics look professional….well, because they are. They are usually models pics harvested from websites, or even scanned in.
For more information on scammers, look into http://www.romancescam.com . They have a database of current scammers, their names and pictures they are using. It’s updated a lot, but of course it isn’t complete, as there are new scammers daily.

Dating website scammers make millions of dollars every day, bankrupting innocent victims with talk of love and roses, when all they are really after is your wallet. The adage still applies, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is”.

Fortunately, I have never lost a penny to these creeps.

Aspire2 December 9, 2006 at 7:05 pm

I am in complete agreement with the ‘clarify first’ proposition, especially in a relationship where there isn’t that much clarity, e.g. early on in dating. Last January, I found myself in a hotel room in a pseudo-romantic situation with someone I loved, but assumed I was just friends with. He was confused by my confusion, I was confused as to how we got there. Initially, I blamed him, but I realized that I hadn’t asked enough questions, or insisted on answers. In the end, the opportunity for something more was lost, and I think the friendship is lost, too. Should have asked!

Traci December 9, 2006 at 9:40 pm

Yikes.

Rachel Sarah December 10, 2006 at 1:55 pm

Great Questions Dating Goddess!

Re: the cleaning factor, here’s my deal:

I recently agreed to move in with my boyfriend — who’s very far from tidy! — after he vowed to hire [and pay for] a cleaning person every other week.

My six-year-old also got a “responsibility chart” to keep her on top of her own mess.

So far, the cleaning crew is working like a dream. I’m still having to get on the kid, though.

Best,
Rachel, http://www.singlemomseeking.com

hamza December 11, 2006 at 6:53 pm

Leave the mobile phone off in Paris! Do not answer it if it is on Silent either. You should only do this if you are expecting an emergency and I mean an emergency. You only look like a deadhead, self-centred fool answering a phone at a meeting that is important and that goes for all meetings. It’s inconsiderate and breeds contempt from the other party even if they agree to you answering it.

uewoso December 11, 2006 at 7:48 pm

All these questions are good and I would add one more: May I see your driver’s license? You really might not know who this person is. If a man is any good, he’ll understand and show it to you with a laugh. If he gets angry or declines… click NEXT.

Christine December 12, 2006 at 5:20 am

DG! Once again, I absolutely love your positive spin! If I had written that post I’m not sure I would’ve been quite so kind in my analysis. Clearly, that is why you are going on hundreds of dates and I’m NOT!! You are most certainly a gem. Hope you are finding lots of ways to shine this holiday season.

Traci December 12, 2006 at 6:43 am

You are a gem. I wouldn’t have lasted the entire weekend. After seven months, did you never have a clue that he was this inconsiderate? Yikes. At least it gave you a writing topic (does he know you write about him?) . . . ;o)

Elena December 12, 2006 at 10:04 am

With regards to the “married or living with someone question” I’ve learned to be extremely specific and direct because of a married guy who was misleading in his initial email response to my ad. He said that he moved to New York City from Boston after his marriage “broke up.” I assumed that meant he was divorced. Nope. I didn’t find out the truth until the second date when I casually asked how long he had been divorced and that’s when he told me he was still married. Turns out that he and his wife had separated four years earlier and were living in two different cities but they were still legally married and owned property together. When I asked him why not divorce, his response was “It’s complicated.” When I pressed for more info, he finally admitted that there were still feelings there and that he and his wife were at an emotional impasse. They weren’t happy together but neither one wanted to pull the plug on the relationship. In either case, I wasn’t interested in becoming a future casualty, so I hightailed it out of there before getting sucked further in.

Dating Goddess December 12, 2006 at 10:31 am

Christine and Traci:

I knew going in that this was a make or break weekend. Yes, I knew from 7 months of daily talks there were things that weren’t a fit, but when we were together in Sept. he was considerate, although there were also signs. Because he has been so diligent about calling daily, I wanted to give him a last chance to show me he cared about me beyond a 10-minute call.

And while I am observant about behaviors and work to not judge them, I do notice how I feel about them. And I know I am far from perfect, so give people the benefit of a doubt and some slack, hoping they’ll do the same when I have a behavioral mishap. But if someone is unconscious too many times, I move on.

And no, Traci, none of them know I write about them. It would put an odd pall in the air, don’t you think, as they would be forever wondering if a conversation would be seen by legions?

Mitsy December 12, 2006 at 1:00 pm

I am still getting over a three and a half-month relationship which ended with my guy leaving town and going back to his estranged wife from hell (he had nothing good to say about her & they were in the process of a divorce). My level head (which apparently went out the door after meeting him) told me to NOT date a married man. During our courtship, he got embroiled with a nasty custody fight with his first ex who wanted the daughter he was raising. I think that had a lot to do with why he went back to the estranged wife who did not treat his daughter nor him well. It looked better to a court maybe as far as custody goes, but he also did not have the guts to tell me this face-to-face. His sister finally called me and told me what had happened. She also had had a falling out with him as she was helping to raise this daughter and I believe she and her brother argued about money among other issues. She has not spoken to him either since he left town in mid-May. While I continue to tell myself that I dodged a bullet, I still feel bad that things didn’t work out differently for me. Now, I have some enormous trust issues going on which is preventing me from meeting and dating men who might be eligible. The guy I’m currently talking to (and have met once) has only been out of his long-term relationship a couple months but continues to take phone calls from the ex. So, I am dealing with more paranoia and uncertainty once again. I’m backing away from this one before I get hurt like the one before. Too many men claim that they are “over” their ex-girlfriend or ex-wife, but they need “healing time” just like women do. Most are not willing to admit it though.

Ally December 12, 2006 at 1:24 pm

I don’t think you are a gem for your behavior during the weekend. I think you enabled all of it. I can’t even say you were a good metaphorical caddy, because it seems you didn’t guide his ‘game’. Even prior to going, you knew there was an ‘expectations’ discontinuity, and yet never clarified your desires with him in the intervening time. If you slept with him at all, I’m pretty sure he took it as tacit acceptance of his self-absorbed behavior. It isn’t ‘judging him’ if you aren’t getting what you need and deserve.

Dating Goddess December 12, 2006 at 1:32 pm

You are on target. Stay away from those who aren’t complete with their exes. That takes time for all of us, whether we can admit it or not.

You are wise to not want to get involved further with this new guy. Gently release him and move on to someone who is more emotionally available.

Dating Goddess December 12, 2006 at 1:40 pm

Hi Ally:

Don’t we all enable behavior we don’t like if we don’t extricate ourselves? So yes, you are right that because I didn’t refuse to go, or didn’t make a ruckus, I was tacitly saying his behavior was OK. As I stated, I was looking at this as a chance to observe how he behaved without my intervening loudly.

I did ask questions, but would not have thought to ask, “Will you be playing only one day of golf” when I originally asked about possible activities. When he said he’d play on Sat., it wouldn’t have crossed my mind to ask, “And what if it’s nice on Sunday?” Good thing it wasn’t good weather!

And who would have thought to ask, “Will we be zoning in front of the TV all afternoon and evening on both days?” I put out my desires and was ignored, so did what I wanted to do. If a man doesn’t listen, or doesn’t care, that speaks volumes. I don’t want to be with a man who doesn’t think about what I would like, as I am a woman who frequently thinks what my man would like and tries to provide that.

Mitsy December 12, 2006 at 3:26 pm

I guess the “dating for fun” mentality is only “fun” for people who are not worried about being hurt or discarded because you are not what the guy wants “long term”. I’m looking for something long-term with marriage as a possible option for the future. There are emotions involved with most people, even for casual dates. I don’t take dating lightly as I am well aware of emotions and try like hell not to hurt other people. The same cannot be said with some of my previous dating relationships. I’ve become jaded and bitter with some past experiences and I fear that is only going to hinder any future dating prospects. I see why some people choose to not ever venture into the dating world, however, having no one in your life is not very encouraging either.

Dating Goddess December 12, 2006 at 4:40 pm

Hi Misty:

My best suggestion is to take a little longer before actually meeting face-to-face, but not too long. I can tell a lot in a week by what he writes and asks in emails and on the phone, and if he calls when he says he will. I’ve learned to do a bit more screening. If a guy takes a week to respond to your emails without a viable “out of town” or “hideous deadline” excuse, it says to me he’s either too disorganized for me, or not that interested. Fine. I move on before the coffee date, saving us both time.

traci December 13, 2006 at 2:41 am

Oh my, that sounds tiring! I certainly don’t have your dating energy . . . ;o)

Mitsy December 13, 2006 at 7:22 am

I have talked about this philosophy many times on other dating discussion boards. I call it the “kid in the candy store” mentality. That is what online dating seems to be for a lot of men (and probably women too). When things don’t click right away with someone, or there is some misunderstanding in the beginning, many are quick to toss the person back and go find another potential date online. That is the reality of online dating. It can be a plus if you get really burned by someone and decide to go back to the dating pool online or it can make a woman feel very “disposable” if the guy starts to lose interest.

What I have found with my almost 2 years of online dating is that many men do not have lives that allow them to have a regular dating life. I continue to meet men who have demanding jobs or jobs that require them to work 7-8 days in a row or possibly be “on call”. I have worked 2 jobs myself for many years, but I DO make time to date. Also, living in a pretty rural area, many guys I might find appealing live quite a ways away. I keep hearing that long-distance relationships can work, but I continue to have my doubts. I think guys think long and hard about whether they want to drive an hour or more to see someone–the odds of it being such an attraction that they will make the effort on a long-term basis are not in the woman’s favor.

I have also found it difficult to try to date a guy who has only been out of his long-term relationship a couple months. This is what I’m currently experiencing plus the fact that he lives 130 miles from me. He tells me when his ex calls and actually got upset with me for questioning if the ex wanted him back. Although he says he does not want her back, I’m not very reassured by his response. Me thinks he has not been away from her long enough and I’m gunshy about getting hurt again. So, I find myself in a quandry. He seems like a neat guy in all other ways, but I continue to see the red flag of the ex who might not ever go away.

Mitsy December 13, 2006 at 8:59 am

I dated a guy for many years who WAS a janitor! He had a degree from the university we both attended, but jobs in the area were not plentiful and this job (union affiliated) actually paid more than some of the others he might have gotten locally.

I have to admit that it did bother me that he was a janitor, but mainly because he did not aspire to do more with his educational background. Our relationship ended due to his immaturity and inability to be on his own. At 38 years of age, he STILL lived with his parents. That actually bothered me more than the fact that he was a janitor. He was a boy in a man’s body, and the contentment in staying in a menial job instead of trying to better himself only made me have less and less respect for him.

So, it was the combination of a lot of factors that caused me to walk away from this immature guy. However, I admitted that his job did not help in my opinion of him. I knew he was capable of so much more but was unwilling to risk doing anything to change that.

Liz December 13, 2006 at 11:21 am

I do not find that many men who are matches. I am signed up on some dating websites, and lots of men write to me, but most of these men are too far removed from me on social issues, politics, education, spirituality, and other issues. I do NOT view relationships as disposable because I am very particular about whom I start a relationship with in the first place. I also tend to remain friends with men that I have dated.

Now before somebody comments that I should not require that dates match me on social, political, and spiritual issues, let me explain that I DO NOT require that they agree with me on these issues. But they can’t be my polar opposite either!!

By the way, I never consider the dating to be online or on the web. That is simply how I have met some people. If you meet a potential mate in a hardware store, is your relationship then ‘hardware store dating’ for its duration?

Mitsy December 13, 2006 at 12:03 pm

I think that is pretty good advice, however I have in my profile that I am a “one man” type of woman which indicates that I am not into “playing the field”. I also prefer a man who feels the same way. If the attraction and interest seem to be mutual after meeting, I have no desire to continue to correspond with any other guys. Emotionally, I could not handle that kind of juggling regardless.

Those first few weeks or months of dating are hard for most people. You never know when the guy might lose interest or bail on you. I actually hate the whole process of online dating and wondering if whoever I’m interested in is actually contacting other people. I don’t have the thick skin online dating requires. That is why I have had to take breaks from it because I could not handle the whole process for months on end.

Mitsy December 13, 2006 at 2:47 pm

I think the thing about online dating is that it is sometimes easier for men to discard someone after they have met them only a few times because there’s always someone better online. I call it the “kid in the candy store” way of thinking. That mentality is a lot different than just meeting someone in W-Mart or in a hardware store. Meeting people through real life connections and through other people usually causes people to make a bit more effort in getting to know someone – or at least that has been the case for me.

Online dating is good for meeting more people than you might would in a normal real-life setting, but I will continue to believe that online dating is for thick-skinned people who can take it when the guy doesn’t call again or when they ignore your e-mails. The computer age has certainly not helped people in the manners dept. It’s just too easy to say “next” with so many profiles to view.

Mitsy December 13, 2006 at 2:53 pm

I agree. I have one friend who has told me this whenever I’ve been in anticipation of a first date or blind date. I look at it as possibly a very uncomfortable venture or possibly the start of something great, but I never look at it as a free meal. More times than not, it is a disappointment and I could have done without the meal if I had known how bad the date was going to be. :0

Christine December 14, 2006 at 6:13 am

I think using the chronic excuse of “I’m so busy!” is a way of saying that I’m unavailable. It offers a socially acceptable way to keep distance that just about everyone can understand. But as we all know, when something is a REAL , from the heart priority, we magically find the time somehow. Also, it is so true that actions speak louder than words. If someone proclaims they are emotionally available, but I am feeling that they are not from their behavior, I usually trust my intuition and move on.

traci December 14, 2006 at 9:28 am

If a person is emotionally available, he/she will include another in these “busy” activities. According to your research, I am emotionally unavailable as well. But the activities that keep me busy definitely have room for one more person . . . but only the right person. I would think that this is the same for men.

I don’t date much though because I just don’t have the time, LOL. It will take a very special person to break into my schedule. I have children at home, and they are my priority at this stage in my life. A man who can’t understand this isn’t very special in my eyes.

Dating Goddess December 14, 2006 at 9:45 am

Traci:

I agree with your priorities!

The challenge is how do we get to know if someone is special if we don’t spend some time with him? If we’re too busy, I think we send off signals of unavailability, even to those who would qualify as special. It is a hard one to balance – a full life with dating.

Maybe your special guy would also have kids that are a priority (Bruce?). Then you could combine some kid time with dating!

Rita December 15, 2006 at 12:06 pm

These questions remind me of “rule” a friend mandated for his teenaged daughter. After her boyfriend rolled his car, the rule was that she had to look at the tread on all four tires before getting in a car with anyone. Not only was this a matter of safety, my friend felt that someone who didn’t keep his car maintained would let down in all other areas of life, since, according to him, cars are the most important part of men’s lives.

Bruce Daley December 15, 2006 at 3:14 pm

How about those Red Sox?

Mitsy December 15, 2006 at 3:34 pm

I have worked 2 jobs for almost 14 years. I don’t do it because I want to but because I have to. However, I do have set nights off and every Sunday is free. I think that is ample amount of time to date in my opinion. Since I have done online dating, I have dated or gotten to know a few guys who had jobs that simply did not allow them to have a normal dating life. The first guy I ever met was a “bounty hunter”. I didn’t think they even existed where I lived, but he lived about an hour away from me. He wasn’t ready to settle down and with his “on call” work hours, he had no time for a woman. I knew he would not be someone long term even if he did squeeze me into his schedule.

One other guy I dated for over 3 months was a train engineer. He would work 36-48 hours at a stretch and even though he technically was not “on call”, they would sometimes still call him in early, thus messing up whatever plans we had. Of course he needed the $ and could not say no. He had a lot of other issues and baggage, but it was HE who bailed on me in the end. I was willing to work around the crazy work hours and his custody battle with ex-wife #1. I can look back now and see how dysfuntional he was and how self-centered his decisions were. He left town in mid-May and I’m just now getting back into the dating scene.

The guy I’m “sort of” seeing lives 130 miles away and is a cop. He apparently works 7-8 days in a row at certain times of the month. With that schedule and the distance, I am not holding my breath that this one will work out. Otherwise, he seems like a great guy overall.

However, I think there are a lot of men with weird work hours out there. Add to it any parenting duties if they have kids and you wonder why they have a profile online at all. Just when would they have time to squeeze a woman into their schedule? I know there are women who also might find it hard to make time for dating, but as adults, we need to know what we can handle and what we cannot. Since I don’t have children, I can juggle 2 jobs and still find time to date. I’m really looking for a guy who does not have kids or doesn’t have kids still at home. Otherwise, it’s a crapshoot if he would have the time I think is necessary to get to know someone. Some people do not know where their priorities lie nor do they know how to juggle more than one thing at a time. It’s those who should not waste their time on any dating site. Getting involved with someone like that is likely heartbreak for sure.

Mitsy December 15, 2006 at 3:47 pm

I dated a guy for 3 1/2 months who was separated from wife #2 earlier this year. He was upfront about where he was in the divorce proceedings, but that got put on the backburner when ex-wife #1 decides she wants custody of the 13 yr. old daughter. He never gave me any reason to believe he would not eventually divorce wife #2 who treated him and his daughter badly. Sadly, he made some really foolish decisions with the stress of the custody battle. He went BACK to estranged wife #2 and did not even have the guts to tell me he was doing this. His sister phoned me about a week later to tell me. She was also furious as she had helped with the raising of this daughter and their whole family could not stand wife #2. They all believed I was the best thing that ever happened to him. I probably was, but I learned some valuable lessons from this little affair. First and foremost, make SURE they are divorced before getting involved with them. My better judgement told me to not date a married man, but he lived locally, I was lonely, and I was not meeting other eligible men who were within driving distance. I cared about this guy a LOT and he broke my heart completely.

Secondly, it told me just how distorted his thought process was to go back to a woman he supposedly despised and who also made it clear that she was not a fan of his daugther’s. I pity that poor daughter. She was shuffled between 3 homes during the time I knew her. I have no idea where the custody issue is. I have remained friends with this man’s sister, but she has had no contact with him either. If I were a judge, I would not let her stay with her immature Dad and hateful step mom. Very sad deal.
I KNOW that I dodged a bullet, but it has taken me a very long time to totally convince myself of that. Things did not have to turn out like this, but I will never again date a guy who is not divorced and been divorced for at least 6 months.

Dating Goddess December 15, 2006 at 4:18 pm

Bruce: Thanks for your usual insightful contribution to this community dialog! (Not!)

Yes, those red socks are nice and in the spirit of the holiday, but you really need a different color for another season. The red stands out a bit, but is much better than your normal block socks with those shorts.

🙂

Aspire2 December 15, 2006 at 5:09 pm

Yes, deep, thoughtful discussions are the grist in the mill of my life, so I’d hope my pookie was capable of them.

Catherine December 16, 2006 at 11:09 am

I was going to tell you that the second email was from a scammer, but Jamey beat me to it. I received a similar email with grammatical inconsistencies and other oddities the most alarming being the “gentleman” professing his undying love to me in his first email. While I never took him seriously, I replied to his email just to see where it would go, and it lead to a interesting chain of emails over 2 months. My “guy” must have been new at the scamming, because we never got to the part where he begged for money, but the emails sure were a hoot. The final one was a sob story about how he had been held up at gun point in Africa (country unnamed) and roughed up, they stole “a ton of bucks and a very expensive wrist watch, but I was not to worry as they hadn’t hurt his pretty face!” I about fell out of my chair laughing! When I didn’t take the bait, I never heard back again. One must be warned that there are both male and female scammers out there taking advantage of nice Americans willing to share their time and money to help others in need. It is better to connect people with a reputable charity and let them determine if they are truly in need then to try and help them yourself.

Dating Goddess December 16, 2006 at 11:19 am

Thanks Catherine. I’ve been contacted by scammers before, typically accompanied by male model photos, but the one I posted was a new one for me. I’m told by a reputable law enforcement friend not even to play along because they do have contacts in the US that if you promise them money and then don’t follow through, there are people here that will come collect — and they don’t play nice! So we all should just ignore them and not play along.

Gatti December 18, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Boy, am I glad to have found your blog! I’m back in the dating game after four years with a partner and just wasn’t finding answers to questions I had. Most of the sites I found seemed to relate to teen dating (like multi-dating meant multi-sex-partners).

I’ve been using a dating site here in the UK and have had a couple of dates so far, plus a number of correspondences. I think British men are definitely more reserved than American (I’m American born, and also lived in Germany).

I’ve just had one gentleman go all wonky because he’d seen I’d modified my profile. Hello? How do you deal with someone who thinks they’re “exclusive” when you haven’t even talked on the phone with them yet? Is this just lack of experience on their part? Actually, he lives much too far away, at the other end of the country, and it turns out that we know some people in common which I’m not sure is a good thing.

I will be visiting your blog again, I know, and I’m sure some crisis will require some advice!

Thanks!

Gatti

David Yoho December 18, 2006 at 10:00 pm

Queen Goddess, for making me feel guilty about my driving habits, you are to be punished. You must drive with me for one hour. Fair warning! I’ve had speeding tickets in 21 states. Ha! Annie doesn’t like my driving either but she’s committed.

Gatti December 19, 2006 at 1:54 am

Your comments, Mitsy, were thought provoking relating to my own situation. I too live in a rural area and am attempting internet dating for the second time. Because of my own time and money restraints I’ve decided to limit dates to about a 100 mile distance (unless there are compelling factors that would change that, have to be somewhat flexible!).

After a few dates I’m beginning to see more clearly just who I am and what I want in another person. My personality has a lot of facets, I could fit into a lot of different situations, but choosing what is important for the long haul is interesting. For example, one fellow is probably a decent match on emotional and interest issues, but I have serious doubts about political and social issues. I guess I have to keep on dating to get some more perspective on this, dating as a form of self discovery!

Gatti December 19, 2006 at 3:24 am

Oh, this one hits home with me! I usually hit the back button when the photos of the motor vehicles show up. Whatever are they thinking??? I also don’t like photos with too much skin. I don’t want to see your chest till I’m used to looking at your face.

Beach photos are bad enough, but if there is a corner of an Ikea clothes cupboard behind the naked chest… Back button!!!!

Pictures of him cuddling kids…well OK, but how about a caption about who exactly the kids are. One guy had “single, no kids” in his profile. Who was the rent-a-kid in the photo then?

Oh, and when their photo, particularly the main profile photo, has an obviously woman’s hand draped on the shoulder. Hello???

I could go on…one guy had a photo of himself sitting in a garden surrounded by a group of women, again with no caption or explanation. What is this telling me? That he likes women? Are they his sisters? Co-workers? Knitting society members?

That said, I’m developing a new one with a theatre director (that wasn’t stated in his profile, he said later it puts people off. Not me…) who also had a motorbike picture and it was why I almost gave him a miss. But I liked something in his face and we’re at the emailing stage. He seems charming and I will proceed, I think.

Shall I tell him how close he came to missing out?

Gatti December 19, 2006 at 3:32 am

Bless you, Goddess, for being a punctuation stickler. Me too. I simply cannot see myself getting involved with a man who can’t express himself properly in writing.

A query: how do you deflect a first contact email when you can barely read it?

Mitsy December 19, 2006 at 8:21 am

You know after hearing that this guy was a one-date only, it makes my blood boil a bit at the thought and creativity he used in corresponding but then made no further effort. What IS it with men like this? Why bother to make a big production about corresponding if they are not up to dating you long enough to even see if you are a match. I think if there is initial attraction and you have things in common to talk about, one date only is a cop out in my opinion. I bet this guy is a confirmed batchelor and will be content to live with is dog only for many years to come.

Mitsy December 19, 2006 at 8:34 am

I can tell you that “flirt” buddies are a waste of time. If they are married, DO NOT even go there. That is a recipe for trouble. Do you really want to contribute to a man’s bad behavior? How would you feel if you were his wife? All too often, society gives a free pass to men who flirt with no intentions of it being anything more than that. That is how women are led on in my opinion. If they are serious, you will know it fairly quickly. If they are married, they have no business talking to you in this manner and you’d best find someone who is unattached and unmarried. Trust me, married men do not make good dating partners.

Mitsy December 19, 2006 at 8:50 am

The one guy (who has not been away from his ex but a couple months) continues to call me, but I find myself frustrated with his e-mails that poke some fun at my own political beliefs. I am “left of center”, he is “right of center”, but we come together in the middle on many issues and I am continually telling him that I’m an issues-based person.

However, instead of calling me during the day, he sends these stupid e-mail joke type paragraphs instead of picking up the phone and calling me. I have a toll free number at work and due to the holiday break, it is dead in my office. I am confused as to what this guy wants in our “relationship”. I have only met him once, but due to work and the holidays coming up, we probably will not see each other again until after the first of the year. I don’t like “mind games” if that is what he’s doing. I don’t want to put all my eggs in his basket at this point. If we can draw things out more, maybe I will feel more assured that things are really over with he and the ex.

I SOOOO hate the uncertaint of things when you are in the early stages of getting to know someone. If I had a lot of options, as far as dating goes, I might not get too worked up at times over things, but I am finding myself on pins and needles once again with online dating.

Dating Goddess December 19, 2006 at 9:54 am

Hi Mitsy:

I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer. I am not talking about making passes at married men — no, no, a thousand times no! I am talking about playing — innocently — when you both know he is very happily married. If he makes any suggestion that you think is serious, cut it off immediately. I’ve never had that, so I must carefully pick the guys to play with!

Dating Goddess December 19, 2006 at 9:56 am

Hi Mitsy:

While I was disappointed, I understand that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. He had been divorced only a year and it was a very strange story, so I’m guessing he wasn’t really ready for anything yet. I didn’t let it bother me. It was a fun, creative exercise.

Gatti December 19, 2006 at 3:20 pm

Dunno, Mitsy, I’m not getting a real positive picture of this guy and whatever the relationship is that you’re having. Sending silly messages instead of calling and talking. I know that one, I had a bit of a thing going with a local guy, a friend of a friend, and I kept getting these mixed messages from him.

When he would come over to my friend’s place or into the shop where I work parttime I always got a good feeling, and had the feeling he liked me too, but my friend said he was quite shy. When I moved here to the village I invited him over for coffee and to see my house and finally he managed it (he works two jobs and has strange hours). We would send funny text messages, it was nice. Talked about eventually going to the theatre or something together.

But I kept getting mixed messages. Was he interested in me as a date, or a potential serious relationship, the dreaded “friends with benefits” or what??? I had a sinking feeling it was the latter, but when I said that we should be friends he seemed a bit miffed.

The whole thing sort of went off the boil and now I barely hear from him. It annoys me a bit.

But…if he couldn’t get his thumb out and ask me out on some sort of proper date, then how do I know where I stand and sorry, it’s his loss, I’m very worth it.

Gatti December 20, 2006 at 1:33 am

Back in the days before the Internet (about 1985, I think!) I answered a personal ad in New York Magazine. We met for coffee, the guy was not Robert Redford and the first words out of his mouth were, accusingly, “You don’t look like your picture!”. He then proceeded to diss everything I and everyone else might be interested in. Date lasted a rather long half an hour. Next!!!

Mitsy December 20, 2006 at 3:50 pm

I think this is the #1 most disappointing thing about online dating for me. I am 46 and continue to believe that men should not play games with women like they did in their 20’s or even 30’s. Doing a disappearing act after so many dates is just not very chic in my opinion. In fact, it’s downright tacky. No wonder there are many discussion boards online which talk about online dating and the “ghosting” of these very men who claim to want long-term relationships. I am here to tell you that the majority of the men I’ve met online don’t know what the hell they want. Too many have unfinished business with their ex’s, have too many demands in their parenting roles, money issues, or they simply get bored with a woman once they are sure she’s interested. I swear once they know you might be a keeper, you don’t look nearly as enticing to them, so they quit trying very hard. This has happened to me more than a couple times. I think games are for kids and if a man cannot decide what he wants BEFORE putting his profile online, then he needs some therapy. I wish there were a better screening process for women to know before they get involved with one of these types. If I had known beforehand about some things, I would not have gone on even one date with some of them.

Dating Goddess December 20, 2006 at 4:22 pm

Mitsy:

Help us know what questions you would have asked before you met a guy for coffee or at the first date to help determine if he was ready for a relationship.

Bruce Daley December 20, 2006 at 5:14 pm

If I had to summarize I would say that your bad dates seemed to involve a lot of French kissing. Have you tried Freedom kisses instead?

Bruce Daley December 20, 2006 at 5:17 pm

Wow Misty you really have a way with the language……you make even adjectives, well sexy! You must be a great catch.

Bruce Daley December 20, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Sorry Goddess! I suppose I should be grateful if all you want me to change is my socks.

Gatti December 20, 2006 at 5:22 pm

Say what you want about British guys being repressed, but none of mine have tried more than a friendly peck at the end of a date. I can deal with that…

Bruce Daley December 20, 2006 at 5:23 pm

Do I have a say in any of this?

Bruce Daley December 20, 2006 at 5:39 pm

I don’t like golf either. What did you do with your time while he was on the links.

Traci December 20, 2006 at 8:21 pm

Hmmmmm, I don’t “play” at all with married men . . .

Traci December 20, 2006 at 8:24 pm

I wonder how Bruce drives . . .

Bruce Daley December 20, 2006 at 9:15 pm

Careful and deliberate at first, I pay attention to all the signals. Later, as I gain more confidence in the path ahead I tend to push a little more. Finally as I get a firmer grip on the road I go faster and faster. So I drive just like I make love!

Dating Goddess December 20, 2006 at 9:17 pm

I hope there isn’t a car wreck at the end!

Dan December 21, 2006 at 12:03 pm

instead of getting in to the pants of the ladis like gropeing her and trying to kiss her , you should try to be an gentleman and open doors for her and pull chairs for her . the way i was brought up , u have to civilized and not say anything to put her down or critisize her
if i donse ot work out there is always next time
if i like the lady i will pay for it even if she insist , i will say next time u pay , that way u can have a 2nd date

Ms. Annie D December 21, 2006 at 12:40 pm

I’m definitely with you on the being the best of your real self.

Your choice to not call men on their inconsiderate behavior during the early stages intrigues me. That way, you get to see what they do naturally. If what they do doesn’t appeal to you, then you don’t get further involved with them.

If only more women would do this, rather than seeing the bad behavior and then thinking they can change it!

traci December 21, 2006 at 10:19 pm

I wouldn’t point out inconsiderate behavior on a first date either (who wants to be criticized, and I’m the mother of only one little boy). However, it would be a short date (oh, I think I’m getting a migraine!), and there wouldn’t be a second one.

Janet December 22, 2006 at 11:20 am

Love it love it love it!!!! Reading your blog makes me laugh so hard!!! Especially this particular post,… 🙂 I will remember your advice to try as many flavors as possible when I am ready…

Well actually I am in the process of divorcing and your blog just cheer me up tremendously.. I need to do some soul searching myself.. I am a 30 year old woman from Malaysia and came to USA 10 years ago. I have a 2-year old daughter as well… 🙂 I love your blog !!!

Gatti December 23, 2006 at 4:39 am

Funny you should write about this, it’s something that’s been on my mind.

Being a child of the late 60’s, early 70’s, much like yourself, we all know about the good night f***. That was sort of the thing you did back then.

Now that we are (hopefully!) more discriminating the situation is different, but we’re still the warm, vibrant, open people we always were.

I write really good, chatty, interesting, even erudite emails and give very good phone, so yes, by the time an actual meeting happens it really does feel like you’re much further along the relationship road than you probably already are.

And I’m smile-y and eye-contact-y, as well as arm-touch-y when I feel comfortable with someone. I’ve only been on a few dates so far and I live in Blighty, where guys tend to be a bit more reserved. Or I’m just good at picking nice guys! Up till now I’ve only had a quick peck at goodbye (one time at hello), and a hug at goodbye. Any arm touching was on my part, and I did deliberately attempt not to do too much.

I wonder what will happen if I meet a guy who really pushes all my buttons. Till now they’ve been nice, but no fireworks at first meeting. Will all reason fly out the window?

I don’t like aggressive or leachy guys, it makes me feel pressured and uncomfortable, so I’ll let you know if I happen to meet up with any of them and what I choose to do!

Gatti December 23, 2006 at 4:40 am

I used to be a radio announcer, I have to practically physically restrain myself from trying to fill “dead air”!!

Elena December 23, 2006 at 8:24 am

I think the antidote to this type of lecherous behavior is to keep the pre-meeting email/phone communication to a bare minimum before the first face-to-face meeting. A gal can be witty, flirtatious and fun but dispense it in small doses before meeting. Men say that they don’t have any expectations but they always do, (they can be positive or negative expectations but they are expectations nevertheless), and those expectations have a way of growing and mushrooming into something big the more engaging, positive and drawn out the preliminary email/phone contact has been. Also, a lot of guys, if they are still newbies to the online dating scene, may not realize how easy it is for some women to “give good phone” like Gatti says, and that just because there was a flirtatious rapport over email or the phone doesn’t mean that they are going to get to third base, so to speak, on the first date.

Elena December 23, 2006 at 8:31 am

DG,
This line from this entry jumped out at me: “The first few dates is too early to try to change someone’s behavior.” Surely you are not advocating that one should enter a relationship expecting to change someone? That’a a recipe for disaster. I know that there are some people who believe that they can change someone else if they love them enough but there are some habits and behaviors that will never change because they are part of the DNA, cultural background, social upbringing or the inherent fabric of the other person’s personality. I think we all have to accept people the way they are and if we are looking to change anyone, it should be ourselves.

Gatti December 23, 2006 at 9:38 am

Yes, Elena, I too believe that if the first few emails and phone calls are enjoyable, then you should get to face-to-face as quickly as possible. Actually if I get a good vibe from the *first* phone call I usually am bold and ask if they want to meet. If it doesn’t click then for some reason, you haven’t invested a lot and there is no regret in letting go of that person, or any fear of leading them on or hurting them. What are a very few emails or phone calls in the grand scheme of things?

Gatti December 23, 2006 at 9:41 am

Oh yes, I definitely agree, Elena! I spent over three years with a verbal abuser and there is nothing, absolutely nothing you can do if someone else doesn’t want to change.

So eventually I got my own self-esteem back on track and changed something – my address!

Gatti December 24, 2006 at 1:29 am

After my own experiences (mostly good) and the shocking tales told to me by others, I believe that the picture(s) should give a decent impression of what you look like now. I agree that some people don’t photograph well (or been photographed by someone who doesn’t know how to do it well), but I still want to see in the photo more-or-less what will show up at the restaurant.

What on earth are these people thinking? That you will be so bowled over by their personality as to overlook their changed appearance? That you won’t mind that they’ve gained so much weight that they can’t even get out of their car to greet you? (Someone actually told me this, and my question was “How did she get into the car in the first place???”).

Start a relationship with a big lie…no, I don’t think that would work for me. And then I would be thinking “What else have you lied about?”

Nisha December 25, 2006 at 4:12 am

This was a great post. I enjoyed it immensely. I have bookmarked your blog for future browsing.

Gatti December 25, 2006 at 4:45 am

Well, my next best hope has just emailed that an old flame has fluttered and he’s decided to go in that direction. We hadn’t met yet, only telephoned, but it seemed quite promising. Ah well…

The last time this happened I did really like the guy, though we hadn’t actually dated yet and we kept up a correspondence and phone calls. And then the flame went out, and then so did we, and then after 3 years of verbal abuse I’m on the dating scene again.

So now, if someone tells me that for whatever reason they don’t want to be with me, the answer is “Good luck and God speed!” and the next thing I say is “Next!!!”.

Gatti December 26, 2006 at 2:11 am

I dislike the often forced gaiety of New Year’s Eve and always have. Don’t care for big parties and very often don’t even stay awake till midnight. The best one was cooking a meal with two other couples then playing board games, hilarious. Not an option this year, obviously.

Theatre Man, my best prospect, bowed out of my life after an old flame called and he decided to pursue that. Scot Physicist, the next in line, is quite new and a bit far away, so I shall most likely spend New Year’s with my studio mate and her husband and have a nice time.

People make such a big deal out of New Year’s Eve, is it really all that important?

Dating Goddess December 26, 2006 at 10:33 am

New Year’s Eve, like any day, is only as important as you make it. So if you or I don’t have a date, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I’d much rather hang with friends than endure an obnoxious date just to have a date.

So, no matter what you end up doing, you always have a choice in how much you enjoy the evening or not.

Christine December 26, 2006 at 5:31 pm

I don’t think I would even consider Internet guy as an option. Police chief sounds like he may have more than one iron in the fire. He’s the most likely candidate to ask, but I think it’s getting kind of late for an invite to do anything more than relax in front of the TV. Nice job trying to smoke Bruce out! I’m awaiting his clever response! New Year’s Eve has always been a mixed bag for me. When I keep my expectations low, I always end up having so much more unexpected fun.

Traci December 26, 2006 at 11:34 pm

I don’t have a date either, but I’m not very worried about it. I’m just as happy spending the evening with myself (my kids will be with their dad).

Aggressively Single December 27, 2006 at 8:22 pm

If you want to do something fun for New Years, don’t wait one more second for some arbitrary man you’ve slightly dated to call. Make plans with friends now – have them over for games or go out for dinner! I personally don’t really care about New Years as there are too many drunks on our icy roads here, but you can’t deny it is a clear how-important-are-you-to-the-guys-you-are-dating indicator. So none of these guys are right for you, Goddess. You are a Goddess, don’t wait for them!!!

Dating Goddess December 27, 2006 at 8:31 pm

Aggressively:

I like how you think!

No, I’m not waiting around. I have options. I will choose from what I feel most like doing — with or without a date! The Chief is unavailable as he’s got his kid that night, so I’ll likely spend the evening with some dear friends who were thoughtful enough to ask me to join them.

Aggressively Single December 27, 2006 at 8:46 pm

I have similar pre-meeting behaviour, similar 1st meeting behaviour, EXCEPT I don’t do arm touching. Maybe once during the date. I think that may be sending the wrong signal, as I always hug all my dates goodbye but I’ve never kissed anyone on a first meeting, and they’ve never been aggressive with me. That’s what the 2nd meeting is for, and if you like eachother you’ll both really want it. I often don’t even kiss on the 2nd date. The ones I want to kiss are very eager by the 3rd date! I think I might send out signals that I’m slightly more reserved than you, and your attempt at being warm might be seen by the Males as sexual interest. You know how different they are then the Females….

Aggressively Single December 27, 2006 at 9:09 pm

French Kissing on a first date? Yuck! That’s nearly as intimate as sex! Just say no – turn your head and back away! Asks you to his apartment? Thank him for the evening and leave immediately! Dan, don’t be so cheap! Sorry, but the guy has to pay for the first 2 dates at least!!! If the cutest guy in the world said you pay next time so you can have a 2nd date – No Thanks! Maybe I’ll offer on the 3rd, but I would hope he would refuse. That’s because one of my Boyfriend requirements is the similar to the Goddess- “he must plan outings, initiate plans for events and purchase tickets…. and be generous. Ladies, I think we need to set our standards a bit higher here?

Gatti December 28, 2006 at 5:18 am

I think you’re right, AS. I’ve been going slowly broke financing dates: the traveling, “Dutch treat” meals, etc. With one exception for lunch, I’ve paid my way the whole time.

Anyway, it’s been a weird (and not wonderful) dating week and I’m re-thinking the whole thing.

Catherine December 28, 2006 at 9:33 am

I solved the problem of New Year’s Eve five years ago by joining the Tournament of Roses and helping to put on the Rose parade every year. Now I know I will have plans on New Year’s Eve and it will be fun and rewarding. This year I will be leading the City of Torrance’s float down the parade route! After too many years of the “What am I going to do on New Year’s” dilemma I found a permanent solution that suits me. Not every community has a Rose Parade, but most have some sort of opportunity to volunteer on that night. If nothing else you can volunteer at the homeless shelter and give a staffer there the night off, a priceless gift.

Bruce Daley December 28, 2006 at 10:17 am

Dearest Dating Goddess:

Even as a dark horse it is very flattering to be short listed with Chief Wiggum and Internet Guy for as New Years date. (a single marketing guy living in San Francisco? Have you had your gaydar tested recently?). I know how anxious you are to check me off the list, but I am cautious Goddess. Most women can only tempt a man with immorality but you offer immortality! I may be branded in the pages of history as number 76 your most insensitive, rude, and boring date yet (which – let’s be honest – is saying a lot).

So let me propose this. I would like to know if your gentle readers think we should go out. Readers of this comment, if you would be kind enough to email me at the link above and let me know if a) you think we should go out, and b) any good reason for doing or not doing so it would be most appreciated. Second Goddess in the interest of fairness you must agree to grant me equal space in your blog to describe my version of our date. Does this sound fair to you?

Smoking Bruce

Dating Goddess December 28, 2006 at 10:38 am

Dearest Smoking Bruce:

The Internet Guy is not in SF, so no need to tune up my gaydar.

Anxious to check you off the list? Nay! Perhaps you will be the last man I date in my quest. 🙂

Yes, immortality is yours already. You’ve been mentioned in this blog more than Dreamboat, Golf Addict, Rocket Man — or any other guy. We goddesses can do that immortality thing. Imagine how proud your kids will be to know that dad will go down in posterity — in a dating blog!

I trust that you will be anything but “insensitive, rude, and boring.” You are funny, interesting, and self-aware. At least on the phone and email. And then there’s that buff low BMI index. How will I know if you have a six-pack and rippling muscles if we don’t meet? And you’ve told me several times what a good date you are. Now we just have to see if the hype matches reality.

Is your reference to yourself as “Smoking” meant to tell us you are hot? Or that the fire has gone out?

Sure, it will be interesting to see if DG readers think we should go out, but it is really our decision. Do you really want total strangers to determine if you will meet you potential soul mate or not? We both are people who determine our own destiny, not sit back and wait for others to decide.

And regarding reviewing the date — you know that dating reviews are not the focus of this blog. Now, if you want to comment on something you learned about yourself after an evening with the Goddess, you are always welcomed to do that. Of course, I can always delete it. 🙂

Bruce Daley December 28, 2006 at 12:45 pm

There may be snow on the roof but there is still a fire down below.

Dating Goddess December 28, 2006 at 12:59 pm

Are you sure that’s fire — or just smoke?

Bruce Daley December 28, 2006 at 1:19 pm

This looks a lot like a list for someone in his or her early twenties. You forgot to add such milestones as:

1) Do his kids like me?
2) Do I like his kids?
3) Does he like my kids?
4) Do my kids like him?
5) Do the kids like each other?
6) Will he support me?
7) Will I support him?
8) Will we share expenses equally?
9) What city will we live in?

mary December 28, 2006 at 1:51 pm

hi linda! about your terminal ill ex boyfriend…lol people have to learn to be honest. Id set him up for a meeting with another profile….one that is generic enough to open the doors to other possiblilities…but well enough to snag the bugger…then meet up with him and hand him his eulogy!!! good luck and jave fun!

Dating Goddess December 28, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Dearest Bruce:

Ah. Since I don’t have kids, nor do I often date men who have younger kids, these questions wouldn’t be in my milestones. But I can see how they would/should be in yours.

And do #6 & 7 refer to financial support or emotional support?

And perhaps #9 should be “Where will we live? His place? My place? A new place?”

Thanks for the contribution!

Mitsy December 28, 2006 at 2:24 pm

I am still corresponding with the “cop guy” from Iowa who has not been out of his long-term relationship very long. We play phone tag a lot but did talk some over the x-mas holiday. He will be “on call” for New Year’s eve, so that nixes any New Year’s plans with him. I continue to be cautious with him even though I’m more certain that things between him and the ex are really over. I’m trying real hard to not put all my eggs in one basket.

In the meantime, I have corresponded and met another guy who is a couple years older than me. He’s a mechanic and lives less than an hour away. He lives closer than cop guy which would be a plus. He came in to the store where I work part-time before x-mas and I was a bit taken aback that he was heavier than his photo looked and has a gut (below the belt) that protrudes like he’s about to give birth. I have dated heavier guys and cop guy is also a bit heavy, but this guy is not porportioned very well. Physically, he was somewhat a turnoff for me. Anyway, I have continued to talk to him since I don’t want to be so shallow about his looks.

He winds up coming to the store again just to see me last night. I know he did not have to drive 40-50 miles to shop at W-Mart. He has sent me some very “flowery” e-mails claiming that he thinks about me all the time, loves my deep blue eyes, etc. He asked to call me after I got home from work last night and I said he could. We talked a long time, mostly about cars as I’m somewhat of a car buff and he’s a mechanic. This morning I get an e-mail wanting to know if I want to go out and also puts that he’s a bit “crazy” about me and “hopes that’s OK”. Well, upon adding all of the elements together, it ISN’T OK. I’m not comfortable around this guy in person. He is fine to talk to and he might be fine to go out with, but he is clearly wanting more than I am willing to give him. So, I write him back and tell him that I can only offer him friendship at this point. I remind him that I am continuing to be cautious about dating in general (and I have good reason with my past experiences) but that I thought it was only fair to tell him that I would go out as friends and did not know that there could be anything more.

I have friends who told me to date both of these guys if given the chance. While cop guy doesn’t seem to be exerting as much effort as I’d like, we are still talking and that is still giving him some time to get more fully “over” the ex. Mechanic guy has divulged too much too soon to me. It is fine to think about someone a lot, think they have pretty blue eyes and that you might get a bit crazy over them, but you don’t tell someone that until you know they are pretty interested back…certainly NOT after only a week of meeting the person. I think mechanic guy’s overkill with his words and his 2nd unexpected visit to my job have made me realize I don’t want to get involved. He is too eager, appears too needy, and I doubt that I’d suddenly find physical attraction later that doesn’t seem to be there now.

So, I don’t do well with “playing the field”. I just wish there were more options for dating. I feel like I’m in a snag with the online dating bit. Will wait until after the first of the year and see what happens. In the meantime, I just wanted to share the latest on my dating woes. :0

Ally December 28, 2006 at 9:25 pm

If we’re talking Tongue-in-Cheek/full in earnest:
5a. Buy dating clothes for first 3 dates.
11a. Buy new underwear

Christine December 28, 2006 at 9:37 pm

Delighted to see that Bruce took the bait! And as expected, he furnished a very clever response! If you’re asking, I’m all for hearing about a dating adventure between you and Bruce. Sounds promising – at the very least it will make fabulous blog fodder! At its very best …well, we’ll leave that for you to tell.

traci December 28, 2006 at 11:20 pm

Yikes. But then I have always hated lists . . .

Personally, I am hoping to be browsing books somewhere and bump into Superman, who just happens to be considering the same book that I am considering . . . ;o)

Oh Superman, where are you? *grin*

Elena December 29, 2006 at 5:55 am

Bruce: What’s the hold up? Arrange that first date with DG already! She has given you an incredible road map on how to get to know her, thanks to her blog. Some men would kill, or at least drop a large wad of cash on a shrink, to get such detailed, personalized insight into a woman’s perspective about dating. What have you got to lose? Nothing.

Elena December 29, 2006 at 6:09 am

DG,
Once again, I like your positive, upbeat outlook on this subject. However, let’s be honest…one can enjoy the process and the journey, so to speak, but still want to include the finding of an emotionally and physically compatible mate (notice I didn’t say soul mate or future spouse) as part of his or her definition of dating success. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be dating. That process would be better labeled as the search for new friends or making new acquaintances.

Elena December 29, 2006 at 6:12 am

What about the milestone of meeting the ex-wife? And then the milestone of forming a friendship with the ex-wife after the relationship with the guy is over? (Hee, hee.)

Elena December 29, 2006 at 6:30 am

One common blunder is making that first date seem like an interrogation with tons of rapid fire questions. The woman (or sometimes it is the man) asks a string of questions and then the interrogator isn’t keen to offer up their own answers to the same line of questioning.

A doctor once asked me the most bizarre thing on the first date. He asked what would I do if my husband and my child were bound to the rails of a railroad track and a train was barrelling down toward them and there was only time to free one person. The question was, which person would I choose? My husband or my child?

What was so weird about this question was that it came totally out of the blue. It wasn’t like we were talking about married friends or single parenting or anything even tangentially related. I could tell by the way he relished asking the question that this was one of his “gotcha” questions that he liked to spring on dates. When I told him that I didn’t want to answer that question because I thought it was an awful scenario, he pressed me to give a response. The date was already derailed and I just wanted to move on to a different topic, so finally I said I’d save the child because I could always remarry. Boy, did he get offended! But I knew that answer would drive him nuts. That was the first and last date with him.

Mitsy December 29, 2006 at 8:44 am

I posted about this on another thread, but I think it’s worth mentioning again. The only thing worse than a guy who doesn’t make enough effort with you is a guy who makes TOO much effort and lets his emotions overtake him.

I had been talking to two different guys from Yahoopersonals. One guy I’ve had one date with and we’ve talked almost daily since then. He says we will see each other again after the first of the year, but we will not be together for New Year’s due to him being on call and living 2 hours away from me. Although we seemed to hit it off really well in person, his calls now sound only semi-interested and almost like we’ve been together for a long time and it’s no big deal to talk to me. I am going to wait to see if date #2 happens and how that goes. If it doesn’t happen within the next few weeks, I’ll be ready to move on.

Guy #2 was a mechanic and I’m somewhat of a car buff. We exchanged some e-mails and talked on the phone a couple times. He lives closer to where I live and shops at least once a week at the store I work part-time at. He came in to meet me right before Christmas. He drove down with his buddies and seemed like a nice enough guy. He did not look as much like his photo as I imagined. He also was more overweight than I thought he was. He had a very unsightly gut that was hard to overlook. I could only imagine what he looked like without any clothes on. Gives me shivers….:0

Mechanic guy is clearly smitten with me. I get a couple more e-mails from him where he talks about thinking about me a lot and wanting to call but knowing that I’m busy with family and holiday stuff (this was over the x-mas holiday). He makes 2 more unexpected appearances at the store. The next visit was 2 days before x-mas and I was very busy and could not visit with him much. The last visit was 2 days ago. I realized when I was NOT happy to see him again so soon that this was probably not going to work out. He calls me that same evening and we have a pretty good conversation, but there was no mention of a date, so I didn’t give it much more thought. Then I get an e-mail the next day which says that he enjoys talking to me, wants to know if we can go out, and that he’s kind of “crazy” about me. The e-mail is the final nail in the coffin for this guy. How could he be crazy about me when he’s hardly known me a week? And that has been through a couple phone calls and the short visits I’ve had with him at the store.

I could only imagine him wanting to french kiss by date #2 if I had gone out with him. He was wanting a LOT more than I could deliver and he was much too needy right off the bat. I debated about going out with him “just once” but I decided to nip this before it got out of hand or before I hurt the guy’s feelings any worse than I was going to.

I wrote him back that I thought he was a nice guy and that I did enjoy talking to him but that I thought he was wanting more in the way of romance than I could give back right now. I also told him that I was not interested in getting into anything too serious too quickly with anyone due to some past failed relationship issues, which was also the truth.

However, if he had played his cards differently, I probably would have gone out with him and possibly gotten over his unappealing physical appearance. Looks are not everything, but when the guy is wanting too much too soon, that is a complete turnoff for most women. It certainly was for me. At least I was not rude or cruel in my e-mail to him. As they say, “next”.

Mitsy December 29, 2006 at 8:56 am

I’m finding that men apparently think that “being yourself” means taking your dates for granted early on. I see a pattern of guys who are either too interested or they make little effort to get to know you. In fact, I’ve had some who I wondered why they ever had a profile online if they didn’t have the gumption or drive to try to date someone and make a good impression on them.

Laziness seems to fit what I’ve seen with some guys I’ve met who initially appeared interested, but once they knew “I” was interested back, they made less effort. Maybe it really is about the chase, but I think there surely could be a happy medium between a guy who goes overboard in his attention and affection for you (before you really know him ) and a guy who seems too lazy to make the effort to be an active participant in the dating game. I’m wanting a guy who falls somewhere in the middle. Would that seem like “normal”? :0

Mitsy December 29, 2006 at 9:16 am

I think I would have found out a bit more about his status with the ex-wife or about his parenting style/responsibilities. I remember asking the train engineer guy if he actually had time to date and he replied that he did. Turns out that his work schedule (not my work schedule) was a constant obstacle. I’m not saying a whacky schedule can never work–it just proves a lot harder and I’m finding a lot of men not willing to work around that in order to have a semi-normal dating life.

I also believe it is paramount, and I can’t emphasize this enough…that the guy is completely divorced from his ex. Not in the process, separated, or waiting on the final papers to be signed. They need to be divorced completely and preferably at least have this a few months (or more) behind them. I don’t want to be a guy’s rebound woman.

Since my bad experience with the train engineer, I won’t go near a guy’s profile after I see “separated” in the marital status column.

Mitsy December 29, 2006 at 9:19 am

Also on the parenting issue, if the kid is underage, that makes the odds of having time to date much harder. I don’t want a guy who isn’t going to live up to his parenting duties, but I also realize that “dating” might not be a priority for him either. Train engineer guy had custody of his daughter, but proved to be a pretty poor excuse as a father and as a dating partner. He could do neither well.

Mitsy December 29, 2006 at 9:50 am

It’s taken me a long time to figure out that karma really does work. I’ve seen it in action with past ex-friendships and past co-workers from hell. Eventually, people do get their number and figure out that the person is a user, loser or not worth their time. What goes around, comes around. I believe it more each week. This goes for dating and all of our interactions. I try to treat men as I’d like to be treated. Sadly, many men don’t follow that same philosophy.

Dating Goddess December 29, 2006 at 10:21 am

Elena:

That’s why the last sentence is in the definition! But without enjoying the journey, one can just think of the process as a waste of time.

Mitsy December 29, 2006 at 11:42 am

Unfortunately, I tend to view some of my past dating failures as a waste of time rather than a learning experience. I often look back with regret that I did not say or do something differently. The outcome might have been the same, but at least I might have had the upper hand and felt like my ego was still intact. At the very least, I would have preferred to not meet another guy who was going to change his mind after a few dates. (I’m thinking of one certain guy.)

Too often women feel like the ball is always in the “man’s court”. That is the way I still tend to view dating in general. Although that wasn’t the case with this last guy that I encountered, I continue to find mostly waffling men who don’t really know what they want. Furthermore, many do not even know how to act in the game of dating. They don’t actively pursue but they don’t actually bail on you either. I’m beginning to get frustrated and want to say “do something or get off the pot.”

Oh well, maybe 2007 will be a better year for me..funny, I said that LAST year as well. :0

Gatti December 29, 2006 at 1:37 pm

I’ll have to let you know in a while what my dating success is. Till now it’s been OK, a few pleasant dates, but then nothing. Things are slowed down with the holidays. Perhaps January will be livelier. But right now I’m not thrilled with the whole thing. All the travelling is costing me a boodle!

Of course maybe the coughing flu thing I’ve been battling for nearly two weeks isn’t helping either!

I’m with you, Mitsy, let’s look to a better 2007!

Gatti December 31, 2006 at 2:39 am

Funny you should mention this, DG. I’ve seen a guy a couple of times and he’s quite nice, we talk about many things, but… He is an extremely idealistic, save-the-world sort and I tend to be more pragmatic and easy going about things. I can see that this could most likely be a problem. My “green” credentials are OK, but just not in the same league, eventually I think I would be too mainstream for him.

I feel that to make something work there I would have to hide away too much of myself, or adapt more than I really wish to and since my last relationship was several years of denying who I am just to keep the peace, I really don’t want to go there again.

So if it will work with somebody it will be because I’m OK as I am, and them as well, and that would most likely mean a similar world view. Thanks for giving it a name!

Elena December 31, 2006 at 8:29 am

Does anyone remember the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine fall in deep lust with Jerry’s moving man? She broke things off, despite the intense mutual attraction, when she found out that he was pro-life. With Elaine being pro-choice and Mr. Moving Man being pro-life, they both knew that sooner or later their differing views on abortion would become a wedge between them and so they broke up.

You are right when you say that couples with polar opposite world views may have agreed to disagree or have decided not to discuss those topics. I would add another factor…perhaps they don´t believe that staunchly in whatever their publicly-visible world view is and identify/connect more deeply with their partner on some other point. I think when you see happy couples who on the surface appear to have differing world views, like Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matlin, I think that under the surface their world views are more in sync than a casual observer would think. For example, maybe what is most important to Carville and Matlin is being politically connected and plugged in to the American political establishment and their political party affiliation is just a means to an end. (If anyone saw/heard how sour grapes and obnoxious Carville sounded after the recent mid-terms elections, you’ll know what I mean. His party won big time and yet he was griping about what a lousy job Howard Dean had done. Sounds like a man more concerned with being seen as a power player than with being a democrat.)

But I digress. I think having similar or compatible world views builds a foundation for a more emotionally rewarding and long-lasting partnership. Potential deal breakers for me are usually based on socio-political and religious points and/or hypocrisy. For example, anyone who tells me how to be spiritual or tries to proselytize is not boyfriend material for me. Also, anyone who supports the war in Iraq or tells me that I’m unpatriotic or anti-American because I don’t support the war is also off my list. Sorry, can’t arround that. Another deal breaker are guys who live in the past and frame their present and future around what they were/had/achieved in the past.

Bruce Daley December 31, 2006 at 10:11 am

Personally I think you are looking at this in the wrong way. People use social networks to create teams to solve problems. Pair bonding is a highly specialized kind of problem solving team historically applied to the problem of day-to-day survival and bearing children. Depending on the kind of problem you are trying to solve with your mate a world view may or may not matter a great deal. Democrat James Carville and Republican Mary Matlin are trying to accomplish the same goal – get their candidate elected so their world view does not seem to be all that important a factor in their relationship (although you can never tell judging from the outside). If the fictional Elaine and the Moving Man are planning on having children then their world view on abortion is relevant to the problem they are trying to solve.

Bruce Daley December 31, 2006 at 10:42 am

Wow! John Gray (Venus and Mars) is not the most profound thinker in western philosphical tradition, but he makes some good points. One of them is that dating is the process of discovering if the male can make the female happy. So some of the men you date are not going to be able to accomplish that. That is no reason to be sour. Even if you dates don’t make you happy you can still have a lot of fun going to dinner, going dancing, going to movies.

Dating is a part of living and your attitude about dating reflects your attitude towards life. I think both of view life a journey of discovery. It is not surprising we (me and DG) see dating the same way.

Many women are pretty sour about the process which makes it harder for them to complete it successfully because after all you get more flies with honey than vinegar.

DG this has to be one of your best posts ever.

Bruce Daley December 31, 2006 at 11:09 am

DG you can call me Smoking Bruce because:

a) you are smoking me out,
b) in some women’s eyes I have the potential to be smokin’
c) i must be smoking my own dope to think about agreeing to this.

Christina, Elena and other readers of this column, the reasons for my hesitations in dating DG are as follows:

1) I will be what? The 74th or 75th guy she has gone out with? It is hard to imagine among those many suitors that I will be the handsomest, the kindess, the richest, and the most intelligent. In my estimation by dating so many men DG is not looking for the next Mr. DG but is on a voyage of self discovery.

2) She is a wonderful person and I think of her as a good friend. If I french kiss her on the first date then that will be all over.

3) If she is my soul mate then I am off the market, If we have a really terrible time, she is too good a writer not to make seem all my fault. You reading this comment might be my soul mate and by dating DG I will forever lose the opportunity to expore that.

Bruce Daley December 31, 2006 at 11:11 am

Elana why would you want to be friends with that bitch?

Dating Goddess December 31, 2006 at 11:40 am

Bruce, dearest:

I would never lambaste you in a public forum. You may have noticed that none of the men mentioned are recognizable to anyone but themselves. However our date went, it would be shrouded in anonymity. Only you and I would know my comments were about you — unless you shared a comment about it. I wouldn’t want to ruin the possibility of your meeting your soul mate (assuming it’s not me) on my blog! (I can just see you explaining to your kids how you met: “I was commenting on a dating blog, and this woman just struck my interest, so ….” Not quite a cute meet.)

And thanks for the compliment about my writing. However, you may have noticed, I tend to take some blame in the dates gone bad, so don’t just blast the guy.

BTW, I am looking for my next Mr. DG, but decided early on to enjoy the quest. When I meet him (you?), he will be the handsomest, kindest, and most intelligent man of them all in my eyes. So there is still hope for you!

Regarding #2, but what if I *want* you to passionately kiss me on the first date?

Mitsy December 31, 2006 at 1:03 pm

Quite frankly, a guy CAN say all the “right” words to lead a woman to believe he’s committed to the relationship BEFORE they sleep together and he can STILL bail later. This happened to me, and I learned my lesson about having sex too soon. I had only been with one other guy in my whole life until about 11 months ago. I do not believe in casual sex, and this guy “claimed” to be committed to me very early on. I really did believe we’d be together for years.

Our relationship lasted a little over 3 months. He had many problems in his life and our relationship was a casualty of his inability to handle a relationship and life stresses. I only wished I had seen his immaturity and selfishness BEFORE I slept with him. I am trying to remind myself that I’m better off without him and also the fact that he had erectile problems he refused to acknowledge (which would only have gotten worse, not better).

There are times that I still miss this guy and he’s been out of my life for over 7 months now. Maybe a year from now I will feel more healed, but I know that I will never let my passions overtake me to where I don’t know for sure where the relationship is headed before taking that plunge. It really was not worth it.

Dating Goddess December 31, 2006 at 1:48 pm

Mitsy:

The challenge is we can never know for sure where any relationship is headed. It could have been you who changed your mind after getting to know the guy even better, even after declaring a commitment. As people get to know each other, they let their guards down and their raw, true self comes forth. People change, which is part of why the divorce stats are so high.

So while it is a good idea to slow down the physical part of a relationship until you’ve spent enough time together to see the others’ true self, you can never know anything for sure. At some point we have to trust we have enough information to move forward. If we’ve misread the information, or more comes out later and we change our minds, that is just part of life.

Janet December 31, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Hey Dating Goddess,
I went to Dallas to visit my best friend this past weekend in hope of hooking up with an old flame. We have been talking for over a month now via emails. However, he is still the same person that I dumped about 7 years ago. With the exception that he dresses better now. So anyway, I kept thinking about a phrase from Rachel Sarah’s book, “Don’t go back for more when there is less”. This trip kinda answered all of my what-ifs with this ex. He is not my match.

So anyway, I was surfing match.com and saw so many eligible bachelors out there. Some of them are very educated and good looking as well. I wonder why can’t they find their match? And also, it kinda gives me hope that there are still many fishes in the sea.

Janet

Elena January 1, 2007 at 7:47 am

Regarding Janet’s comments, I’ve been wondering the same thing myself, in terms of why so many great bachelors are still out there. Yesterday, out of curiosity, I put in my old zip code on Match.com just to see who would pop up. Guess what I found, many of the very same profiles and same photos of guys I had met or emailed with three to four years ago!!! It wouldn’t have been surprising to see one or two familiar faces but there were several. What’s up with that?

Gatti January 1, 2007 at 8:47 am

Interesting deal breakers, Elena. Gives me some food for future dating thought.

Gatti January 1, 2007 at 8:58 am

I dated a guy who had been on the dating site for 2 years, and still hadn’t met his perfect match (I wasn’t it either!). Do you thing people get jaded if they don’t meet someone nice in a short while, and then they get over-picky? Hard to say…

Are the more discerning people (educated, handsome, as you say) afraid that if they pick someone then they will miss the “real” one, so they seek, seek, seek?

Maybe the more simple folk just find someone who looks OK, smells all right (or not), and is pleasant enough and just stop there.

It’s a mystery to me as well…

Dating Goddess January 1, 2007 at 9:44 am

Having been on Match myself for 2 years, I’ve found the same thing — the same guys keep coming up in my matches. I think there are several things going on.

1) Even if they are dating someone regularly, they may not pull their profile down. Why? Sometimes it is forgetfulness, sometimes laziness, sometimes they don’t get many women writing to them and if someone does, he tells her he’s dating someone.

2) Sometimes they aren’t ready to date. I can’t tell you the number of guys who have contacted me, we’ve emailed a few times, given me their phone number, I call and never hear back.

3) They like dating around or are overly picky. One guy wrote in his profile that you shouldn’t respond if you were over a size 4!

4) Just because their picture is handsome, remember that could be a 10 — or 20! — year-old pic. And just because they are educated and articulate doesn’t mean they are socially adept or emotionally stable. The crazy psychiatrist was a perfect example of that.

5) Or, like me, they just haven’t found the right one yet.

David Yoho January 1, 2007 at 11:58 am

From our friend Mary Pusateri: Don’t ever date a man with a cat unless you also have cats and then, reconsider anyway.

Annonymous January 1, 2007 at 10:41 pm

I have to admit that this list was very helpful. I have been in a relationship for about a year now that has been a bit stuck. Due to circumstances, I haven’t been able to get the relationship on track (I know that she is waiting for me do put things right). Seeing it in print and in a list form makes it a lot easier to see where we should go, which wouldn’t be obvious with the compexities involved in this particular relationship.

Plus, as a guy, I have to say how important Ally’s comment above about #11a is. Granny panties can go a long way in preventing #12.

🙂

Gatti January 2, 2007 at 10:44 am

I like your New Year’s dating resolutions a lot, DG. Although I’ve only been at this two months to your two years I find that they are germane to my own situation.

When someone contacts me who doesn’t click on the page, I’ve felt such a sinking feeling and have been tempted to just duck and run, not answer and hope they go away. I’ve been steeling myself to send a kind “No thanks”, as you have suggested and feel a lot better for having done it. It’s happened to me as well, and while not completely pleasant, it’s better than no answer at all.

I suppose my main resolution is “Do not take it personally”. Because of my past experiences, I tend to take on all the blame, “It must have been something I’ve done!”, and this is not a good position to be in when dating. Stuff happens, and it is just stuff and not anyone’s “fault”. One situation did shake me, when a very promising contact made plans with me to call next and meet ASAP and then (on Christmas morning, dammit…) sent an email that someone from before had contacted him and he was going to pursue that, that he couldn’t have two relationships at the same time. I answered gracefully and then saw that he was logging onto the dating site every day.

Oh, he’s not interested in me, he’s getting involved with someone else, but…he’s still looking??? I was annoyed, sort of upset, definitely confused. I wrote a short message asking if perhaps he was still available and there had been some misunderstanding (my “it must have been something I’ve done” gene kicking in). The answer was, no, I’d done nothing untoward, what he’d written was true, but he just checked into the site to see what was happening with some “fans”. Oh.

So, am I not good enough to be a date, and also not good enough to be a casual friend? Or perhaps so tempting that it would distract him from this new, old flame? Or am I simply being lied to and let down gently, as was my first reaction, the “it’s not you, it’s me” thing that guys do? To think too much in this way is the path to madness…

So one of my resolutions is to learn to let go, quickly, and without letting it affect my self-confidence. And to realize that if it was going to work, it would work. Basta.

I’m sure this will be added to and amended as the year goes on.

Bruce Daley January 2, 2007 at 11:04 am

Hello! It is a nice thought, and not to quibble, but if you can’t fail then you are not really being brave. Bravery comes from acknowledging the risk (or the potential for loss) and moving forward anyway.

Bruce Daley January 2, 2007 at 11:06 am

My resolution is to become a world class date.

Bruce Daley January 2, 2007 at 11:09 am

Sorry Anonymous, but I have to disagree. Speaking as a guy, if you are that close to closing, seeing granny panties is not going to queer the deal.

Dating Goddess January 2, 2007 at 11:16 am

Who says you aren’t already?

And what, exactly, is your definition of a world class date? Just so I have my expectations in order.

🙂

Mitsy January 2, 2007 at 1:27 pm

I don’t know if this fits in with this topic, but my irritants about men in general are that once you meet someone you want to get to know better (and they lead you to believe that they want the same), they start calling you less or taking you for granted before you have even established a relationship. The guy I’m currently interested in has had a lot on his plate from work-related issues and also health issues and some legal issues. Yes, I believe all of those things weigh heavy on a guy, BUT why is it that life stresses seem to make them not able to cope with a woman or anything else? I feel like I’ve been put on the back burner. I don’t know if I should wait it out and see if after his surgery is over and his court stuff is over if there might still be a possibility for us to continue to correspond and try to see each other again OR write him off as an irresponsible flake who wanted a girlfriend one week but now is having second thoughts. I just don’t understand most mens’ thinking process.

Janet January 2, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Goddess,
What is the story behind the crazy psychiatrist?

You are right… just because they are educated and articulate on their profiles doesn’t necessarily means that they are the same in person. And pictures can be deceiving as well…

Janet January 2, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Goddess

I am in camp 4. I feels like I do not need to waste time telling him what I am uncomfortable with if I do not plan to have a second date with him. Also, my approach is direct, i.e. “You have bad breath” rather than “Let’s have a mint before continue kissing”. I am not very good at phrasing things… I just say how I feel.. it can be both good and bad… And I don’t like people sugarcoat me either. Tell me the truth cause I can handle the truth…

This is one of the many differences between me and soon-to-be-ex husband.

Dating Goddess January 2, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Janet:

I referred to him in “Dating as therapy” http://datinggoddess.wordpress.com/2006/11/07/dating-as-therapy

I guess I’ll have to write a posting about him to tell the whole story, although that tells you a lot.

ER January 2, 2007 at 6:32 pm

(This is my first post to a blog so please be gentle).

My new year’s resolution is stop being a dog with women. I shudder to think about the number of women I’ve hurt over the years. Never intentionally, but I now know that the end result has often been that a lot of women I’ve seen have ended up with shattered egos and broken hearts.

Like most guys, this never bothered me in the slightest, as I wasn’t really aware of the extent of the damage I was causing. Then late last year two things happened – First I saw “My name is Earl” on the TV. Second, for the first time in my life I had my heart broken by a woman. Yeah, I know you’d expect this to happen sooner to a 38 yeay old man, but it hadn’t. So how does seeing “My name is Earl” and getting my heart broken make me want to change? Simple – Like Earl in the TV show, I realized that karma was probably giving me a taste of what I had made women endure for many years, so I too decided to “…become a better person”. Corny…but true.

So this year no more of the following:
“The Vanishing Act”
I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve done the vanishing act on women after having had sex with them. And when I say vanish I mean I have the ability of totally disappearing from the face of the earth. I won’t answer her phone calls, emails, Sms, etc… One day we are hanging out – the next day, I vanish.

Why have I done the vanishing act on women? Because I was too chicken to tell them the truth, which is….that the only reason I was with them in the first place was for the sex! In most cases I had no intention of seeing these women more than a couple of times (for sex), so once I had what I was looking for…puff…I vanished.

So now my resolution is to not go out with women merely for the sex, but to date women that I think have the potential to be longer term partners. Once I do have sex with a woman, and if afterwards I get that irrepressible urge to disappear, I will now explain to the woman that I would like to be her friend rather than boyfriend/partner. I know I can do it….

“Serial Dating”
This is part of the reason that I end up doing “The Vanishing Act”. In the past I have spent so much effort dating women that I knew right from the start I wasn’t really that into them. But still I went through the dating routine just so that I could sleep with them. I know it’s bad…but it’s the truth. The urge to have sex with as many women as possible is often very strong and too hard for me to resist. So in 2007 no more serial dating (i.e sleeping with as many women as possible). To give you an idea, off the top of my head I’d say that in 2006 I must have slept with at least 20 different women (unfortunately not all at once).

Gatti, don’t fret over the online guy you’d like to see. In all probability he was only out for an easy shag. He then decided that you weren’t worth the effort and he’s moved on. At this point you have a couple of options. Either you can try and win him over, or you can move on to someone else. Trust me when I say that from my experience it is much easier to find someone else that it is to turn someone around to wanting to see you.

Good luck to everyone with their dating in 2007.

xxx,

ER

Dating Goddess January 2, 2007 at 6:48 pm

ER:

What a great comment! Thanks for sharing so opening and honestly. We’ll be gentle with you — won’t we ladies? No flaming him — he’s changed his ways.

Now, ER, could you just get the word out to the rest of the guys who haven’t had the same insights you did? Maybe send them copies of “My Name is Earl” first season? I love that show!

We hope to see your comments in the future.

ER January 2, 2007 at 9:39 pm

If I was brave I would contact every woman I’ve hurt over the past few years and apologise for my actions. But alas, I’m too chicken to do that yet. I’m not sure what I’d do if I found out that a woman I’d hurt had lost all her confidence and so had decided to never date again. How awful would that be!?

butterflygirl January 2, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Bruce………very well said. I agree with that.

ER………….maybe at some point you’ll get over being “chicken”. I have found it to be very helpful when a guy who has hurt me in the past explains and apologizes. It’s good to know what went on with him. BTW, your first post was great. Happy dating.

Dating Goddess January 2, 2007 at 10:26 pm

ER:

You can do a great deal by at least contacting a few women to begin with and offer your apologies. Some will respond with anger, but your attempt — without a request for forgiveness — will go a long way to show you respect the woman. It may help some regain their self-respect, and if some have sworn off men as a result of your actions, this might have her reconsider. If you decide to do this, please post what happens.

Janet January 2, 2007 at 10:45 pm

I learned something new today. I have never heard of this type of scammer before.

ER January 3, 2007 at 12:33 am

If your friend doesn’t want to post her picture then she probably shouldn’t have a profile on a dating site. Or if she does is she ok with receiving emails from male profiles with no pictures?

What we have inside, as well as what we have outside, defines who we are. I can understand your friend’s desire for her inner beauty to shine through her witty and humorous profile, but all she’s doing is limiting her dating pool, and also increasing the probability that the guy will be disappointed when he finally gets to see her.

So what starts out as a poly to date with minimal pain, turns out to far more pain in the long run.

I’d go with DG on this one. Put a picture up for all to see. Not password protected where the guy has to contact you first before you to send the password. I don’t think women understand the trouble this causes men with online dating.

Do you realise how many profiles there are out there that I read and go “Hmm, yeah…maybe.”, or “Wow, she really seems to ‘get it’. We see things the same way.”?? And so what am I to do? Contact each profile and start building the email exchanges? Only to then see a picture of the person and then determine that she’s outside of my dating range? Then what? Either I do my famous “Now you see me – Now you don’t” disappearing act, or else I have to come up with some elaborate email to say that we aren’t a match. In both cases I’m the loser. I’m the guy who is choosing to call off a potential relationship simply based on looks.

Whereas if there was a picture on each profile I could gauge more easily if the woman was physically within my dating range. Isn’t it better that someone goes past your profile is they know that you aren’t what they are looking for, rather than causing everyone embarrassment later on?

ER January 3, 2007 at 1:34 am

Hmmm…I’ve got to disagree with you on this DG.

Firstly I don’t think a guy should bring a gift to a first date, whoever small it is. The gift itself is probably not worth much and symbolically it places the woman on some kind of pedestal. ‘She for whom we bring gifts.’

Don’t get me wrong, I love romance and gifts, but I think they aren’t appropriate on a first date. So on this one I think YOU deserve losing a few dating points.

I also don’t think you should be subtracting points from a man simply because he walks in to a restaurant in front of you. Maybe this is a cultural thing as I don’t live in the US, but I do know that in many parts of Europe, other places in the world, it is often considered to be doing the right thing if the man walks into the restaurant ahead of the woman.

There are a couple of reasons that a woman would want her man to walk in to the restaurant ahead of her.

– he takes the brunt of the head-swivelling, staring, checking-out, glaring, and all the other looks that a crowd sends in the direction of most new people entering a room.
– It enables the woman to do last minute tiny retouches to herself while being partially hidden from as much of the room as possible. A quick few adjustments to the hair, skirt, dress, even if more often than not aren’t necessary, they do provide a little comfort when entering a new space with new people.

If it’s cold outside or raining then obviously I would expect the man to let the woman in first, but if it was a dark hidden restaurant that neither of you had ever seen then I wouldn’t hold it against the guy for going in first.

Having said all that in most cases I think the guy should make sure the woman walks in first. But he shouldn’t lose points if he doesn’t.

And while we are on the topic of doors, I have to say that I think that the concept of men opening car doors for women is ridiculous. It’s submissive, unmanly, anachronistic, and yet is deemed to convey something romantic or gentlemanly. Opening car door is not romantic, it’s not respectful – it’s a gimmick. A parlour trick nothing more. It gives the illusion of romance, or respect (or whatever it means for you), but that’s it – nothing more.

In the early days of dating I’d say that the same goes for flowers, chocolates, roses at the restaurant (do you guys have those people sometimes in restaurants trying to sell you roses?). All those cliché dating gifts that men think they have to buy for women.

What message does it send about the relationship when the man is basically offering the woman gifts, simply for deeming to share her time him?
Sorry for the rant

ER

ER January 3, 2007 at 1:55 am

Great post DG.

When you say “or the men we do attract are disinterested in a relationship..” do you mean that they weren’t really interested in a relationship, or that they weren’t interested in a relationship with you?

ER

ER January 3, 2007 at 2:02 am

So what’s the protocol on the second date? Is it still affectionate if he brings another gift? Do you bring him a gift to thank him for the first gift?

(I feel like Borat learning about the dating preferences of American women)

DG do you ever arrive at a first date with a gift for the guy?

ER

Gatti January 3, 2007 at 3:47 am

I’m with you on this one ER, people find attractive what they find attractive and I want to see a picture first. There’s always that sinking feeling when someone who sounded interesting finally posted a picture and you think…No, I couldn’t… It’s not a nice feeling. Also I like beards and am not a “hairist” (i.e. bald can be OK), so what a man might consider a drawback could be a plus with me.

Then there’s deciding exactly what photo to post. What are some men thinking?? One guy had sunglasses on in all four of his photos. One hid his face with a hat. The scowls…, my dear! And then there are the out of perspective webcam photos with the big noses. Also I really dislike photos with too much skin, beach shots and, worse, “boudoir” shots. Guys, before I see your chest I want to get used to looking at your face!

From the men I’ve spoken with the comments have been about 10 year old photos, head shots that hide the fact that the body doesn’t match the “slim” in the profile, and glamour shots that look nothing like the reality.

My dates have told me (wonderingly at times) that I look just like my photo: friendly, intelligent, approachable and lovely (that last their word). So DG’s friend might reconsider her position.

Dating Goddess January 3, 2007 at 6:20 am

ER:

I have brought a gift to a first date. In “Dear Fido” you’ll see I even made blueberry muffins for that guy! And since my first date with The Chief was at his house for coffee, I brought some favorite cookies. (Actually, nearly all cookies — as long as they are chocolate — are favorite. but I digress.)

I do it judiciously, however.

As I’ve said here before, if men only knew how much mileage they’d get out of one rose on a date…

Elena January 3, 2007 at 6:22 am

DG,
What happened with your friend on this issue? It’s been six months since you originally blogged about this. Did she change her opinion about posting her photo online and has she been happy with the result?

Ten years ago people could get away with not posting a photo but these days it is totally inexcusable. No photo raises red flags. For veteran online daters, no photo means that the person is Quasimodo ugly or married. The only legitimate reason I can think of for someone not wanting to post a photo would be a public figure or a very visible person in their community. For example, imagine a politician, school principal or doctor. I imagine people like that, especially if they are female, may be reluctant or uncomfortable posting their photo online because they don’t want anyone in their professional or social circle to know that they are looking for love online. Can you imagine the ridicule a high school principal would face from his or students if someone discovered their photo and profile online? That has got to be tough.

Elena January 3, 2007 at 6:29 am

I second the opinion of Butterfly Girl about Bruce’s comment. Agree 100% with his comment and definition of bravery. Very well said.

Dating Goddess January 3, 2007 at 6:33 am

Elena:

I guess I need to have lunch with her to catch up! I don’t know what she did. She is beautiful — nearly stunningly so — so her lack of posting a pic isn’t about being Quasimodo ugly.

I have a dear friend who is a doctor and doesn’t want to post her pic because she doesn’t want her patients to see her online.

And while I think posting a pic is critical, as I review the 73 guys I’ve gone out with, 5 of them didn’t have pictures posted, although they all provided pictures once requested. And while I would most likely have skipped over them if their pic had been posted, I ended up going out with four of them multiple times.

So, if their profile and initial emails are compelling enough, the lack of pic isn’t a deal breaker. But it does set off some yellow flags.

Elena January 3, 2007 at 6:46 am

ER,
Hmm, so, let me see if I understand what you’re saying: The concept of men opening car doors for women is “ridiculous, submissive, unmanly, anachronistic”. (The gentleman doth protest too much.) However, a man walking into a restaurant in front of a woman so that she can make ” a few adjustments to the hair, skirt, dress” while the man “takes the brunt of the head-swivelling, staring, checking out, glaring” is totally up your alley. How positively gallant. Who says chivalry is dead?

Elena January 3, 2007 at 7:08 am

DG,
Thanks for posting this, especially in the same week as the new year’s resolutions and being brave pieces. The three blog entries all fit together perfectly.

The mind is such a powerful instrument and it makes me sad and frustrated when I see how easily people, especially loved ones, con themselves into believing that they need to suffer. Many people subscribe to the philosophy that when terrible things happen they have to suffer and suffer indefinitely. That mentality is based on and thrives on fear. I totally reject that way of thinking and thank you for posting this entry to remind us of the importance of not wallowing in sorrow. Suffering is a choice and I choose not to suffer. Ever.

traci January 3, 2007 at 8:08 am

What you are describing, DG, is grief . . . Grieving is both normal and healthy, but there is a point when it ends and you move forward.

Dating Goddess January 3, 2007 at 10:26 am

Traci:

Actually, I see them as different. I, too, believe experiencing grief is normal and healthy. However, suffering is staying stuck in a self-imposed interpretation of an event. For example, I could grieve the loss of my marriage and think of good times we had and the love we shared. I suffer when I make my ex wrong about how he treated me and was so selfish in making a decision that affected me the rest of my life, without involving me in the decision. The more I allow myself to hang out in the indignation, the more I suffer.

Janet January 3, 2007 at 10:53 am

DG, I admire your ability in discovering about yourself, what you really want out of each date. I would be great if I can do that myself when I am ready to date. I am same as you, 99% of the time, I planned most outings or vacation with my husband. Did it ever occur to you that we were doing it because we didn’t trust them to make the arrangement? We would rather have the so-called “control” over this. Or, has he ever plan something and you ended up not approving his plan?

Mitsy January 3, 2007 at 11:23 am

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s quite easy to SAY you aren’t going to suffer or feel bad about a relationship failure, but it’s quite another to actually do it. I’m more of a realist than that. I know that I’m going to feel very bad anytime I feel like a guy I’m interested in has blown me off. My contact with the cop guy has pretty much stopped. Except for a couple exchanged e-mails yesterday, which told me of his hectic schedule, I have not had anymore phone calls from him. It’s, once again, obvious that once the guy has figured out that I’m interested, he backpeddles or changes his mind. It’s an ego thing and once he knows he could have me as his girlfriend, he no longer wants me.

This has happened to me time and time again. I was finally starting to heal from my last relationship which ended in May and thought I had met a guy who might stick with me. I’m 46 and have had the worst luck trying to find a stable relationship in the last 7 years. I’m told I’m decent looking and have a good personality. I have no kids or ex-husbands to worry about. I “should” be a pretty good catch to a lot of men. This latest guy wanted a woman who did not drink, did not smoke, had no kids and had never been married. I fit his wants to a T, but I feel like he’s rejected me anyway. We had such a great first date and some wonderful conversations, but the longer we talked on the phone, the less he seemed interested. I have to wonder why a guy like him would even put a profile online if he didn’t seriously want someone. The fact that he found someone who fit his narrow list of criteria is what bugs me. I’ve checked and there are few, if any, women in their 40’s who have not been married at least once and most have kids.

I’m back on my anti-depressants and I am angry, confused, and bewildered about it all.

Janet January 3, 2007 at 11:29 am

DG, how do you compare these signs with divorce? To be honest with you, I think they applies to divorce as well. As I read your signs, I have a few of them currently with my husband. Yes we are in the process of getting a divorce. Believe it or not, it is very civilized and calm for the both of us, not angst ridden at all. Well I am the one who is asking for the divorce so needless to say, he is still in denial and bitter about it. But he is still being nice to me and to our daughter.

Dating Goddess January 3, 2007 at 11:33 am

Mtsy;

Time to reframe. You area a great catch. And perhaps that’s exactly what scared him off. He might not really be ready for a relationship, and saw how great you are, and ran. Is it really rejection if you weren’t really in a relationship? The first part of dating is deciding if there is a good match or not. For whatever reason, he wasn’t ready for you. You deserve someone who is not only ready for you, but is excited about the prospect of being with you.

Be grateful that it didn’t go any farther before Mr. ColdFeet bailed. His loss! Now you are free to attract someone who will treat you right.

Also, I think it’s time you looked at why you attract men who aren’t available. You aren’t going to like this, but I’d guess there is something in you that is not available either. I know you feel you are, but since you keep getting these same kind of guys, what could be drawing them to you? In my experience, I draw to me those who have something to teach me. Sometimes it’s a wonderful lesson, sometimes it’s a look at something that needs to be healed.

Dating Goddess January 3, 2007 at 11:44 am

Glad the breakup is amicable.

Since I’ve only encountered one divorce, and really only one of the signs was present for me, I can’t really comment. But I think the signs of disenchantment and disappointment are the same for both. In a marriage, you forgive some irritants as you have made a commitment. In dating, it is easier to call it quits. Through counseling, some couples are able to turn around marriage problems. If one has invested a lot in a pre-marriage relationship, I’d encourage counseling before just breaking up.

Mitsy January 3, 2007 at 1:19 pm

I understand what you’re saying, but most of these men initiate interest in me FIRST. I don’t actively seek “unavailable” men. In fact, I have always thought that I did pretty well in seeking guys who had some similar values as me. Exception to this would be Jeff (who was only separated and not completely divorced). I learned my lesson with that one for sure. I really “thought” this last guy and I were a good match, but I think you brought up a good point. He wasn’t READY for someone who actually fit all he wanted in his profile. I’m no longer sitting by the phone and I’m trying to move on from this. Who knows, he may call at some point, but I don’t want to sit around hoping he gets his act together.

Dating Goddess January 3, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Mitsy:

Even though they are contacting you first, you are attracting them to you in some way. You are putting out some energy that is drawing them to you. And you’ll keep drawing guys like this until you figure out what needs to be healed to attract someone who is stable and ready for YOU.

Mitsy January 3, 2007 at 2:23 pm

How can I attract anyone from an online site? They get no vibe from me other than what’s in my profile, which is about as honest as I can be.

I have worked with psychics and even a pagan witch friend to try to draw someone good and worthy towards me. Don’t laugh, but I thought some love spells might actually help my dismal love life. So far, it has not changed much. I have gotten some good advice from some of the psychics I’ve talked to. However no psychic (even a reputable one) can know everything about a person or their situation. They can only advise you and act as a counselor. But yes, I continue to believe that something must be wrong with me if all I can find are men who SAY they want a relationship but in reality do not want one.

I would feel differently if we had not hit it off so well and there was no spark. Trust me, I know that there was. I’m just tired of the same song and dance with these men. They let life problems get in the way of their relationships and they don’t have the maturity to deal with people (or their problems) in an adult manner. So, they do nothing. Typical male behavior. I should not be surprised, but I still am with this last guy. I deserve better, but in the end, I can’t handle it when the guy doesn’t follow through with things. I think some of these men should put at the end of their profiles….”just kidding”.

ER January 3, 2007 at 5:26 pm

Mitsy, I feel your pain, but I think you are choosing to take the negative view of your current situation. From what I’m hearing I think most of these men did the right thing by not pursuing something that they knew wasn’t going to work.

You say that you what upsets you the most is that you know that there was a spark between you. Maybe the sparks were just a figment of your imagination, as I think that if there had really been sparks for both of you, then the guy(s) wouldn’t have stopped seeing you.

Maybe what has happened is that you felt that these guys were all ticking your ‘ must have’ or ‘would like’ boxes. By the time you got to meet the guy you had already convinced yourself that the guy was well suited to you. The meeting was simply a formality to taking things to the next step.
During the meeting your mind was in ‘acceptance’ mode, and anything the guy said or did was just going to serve as reinforcement of your feelings. So obviously you felt sparks during the meeting. You must have had a flood of dopamine going around your brain.

So then having pushed your emotions to such a high level, you must have been totally bewildered when the guy calls it off or disappears.

Again Mitsy count yourself lucky. How do you think you’d feel if the guys had all slept with you and then had called it off?

ER

Michele January 3, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Misty,

Well I hope this makes you feel better………I have been on-line for 3 years (shudder), have a great career, two great kids, incredible family and friends, also considered very attractive and fun. Met a guy 3 months ago who I thought was into me, although did pull back at 2 months when he wasn’t sure about dating a women with children. I really felt connected until he broke it off one week before X-mas and on the phone no less. Yes it hurt, but truthfully, I think he is a “runner” and as my wise friend told me, next time he e-mails you (he already has) just reply “Run Forest Run”. I still miss him, but who wants a guy who isn’t into you? Hang in there!!!!!!!!

Mitsy January 3, 2007 at 9:31 pm

TO ER,

Sorry pal, but you’re definitely ALL WET as far as your advice goes. No, I was not convinced there were any sparks until we actually met, and I’m not immature enough to not recognize what was reciprocal on this last guy’s part. I didn’t spend hours on the phone knowing that we’d hit it off in person. I’m not naive enough to believe that that is always what happens. Do you think I fell off the turnip truck yesterday? I’ve been doing the online dating thing long enough to know better. This last guy continued his interest until a few days ago, until his medical issues and court issues seemed to be his main focus. I am hoping that he comes back around, but in the meantime, I won’t sit home waiting for him to call.

Michelle,

I appreciate your words. I think there are a number of guys who think when they post a profile that they want a long-term relationship, but then when they meet someone who might actually live up to their expectations, they get cold feet. Doesn’t matter how attracted they are to you in the beginning. Maybe that is what my last guy’s problem was. But, with his narrow list of criteria, he will have a hard time finding someone who meets all the requirements. So, I hope he does contact me, and maybe I can just say “thanks, but not thanks”. For now though, I’m still feeling really badly about this one. Sigh….

Gatti January 4, 2007 at 10:10 am

“…but who wants a guy who isn’t into you?”

Oh, yes, Michelle! Been there, done that, wanna see the scars?? I spent months a few years ago trying to convince someone who didn’t want me that they really did. What a waste of time! What a learning curve!

Having had my little recent experience of someone breaking off a (very short) contact and feeling lied to and annoyed about it, I will be very careful about such things as this dating lark goes on. And no, I don’t think it was about quick sex. ER. So…for whatever reason…he wasn’t into me and I don’t need him.

The other side of this coin is the guy who falls for you too fast and there you are feeling pressured and baffled what to do. That happened to me once. After a couple of dates he would go all panicky if we didn’t have minute to minute contact (phone calls, emails, text messages) and wanted me to move in with him at that point. Another date and it was over. Needy, needy, needy and I don’t need that!

And let me tell you about the gal I’ve been corresponding with on the dating site I use. Her profile was on the log-in page and I had a look at it and wrote her to tell her I liked something she wrote (about guys lying about their ages). She wrote back that she was just dumped after two months by a guy who had decided he wanted a young, leggy blonde. She’s a 37 year-old, attractive brunette. It took him two months to figure that out??? I looked at his profile and he didn’t say a peep about young blondes. Maybe your guy, Mitsy, just decided that non-smoking, non-drinking, non-child-having, non-married just wasn’t enough and there’s something else he wants that you aren’t.

Bruce Daley January 4, 2007 at 10:30 am

Thank you both for the kind words butterflygirl and Elena.

Janet January 4, 2007 at 11:29 am

My soon to be ex husband is a chronic complainer. He never seems to be happy with life… We both dislike the old house so we bought a new one. I thought he would be happier. Wrong. He hated his job and never did anything to change the status quo. When I got a job offer elsewhere, he agreed that I should accept it and will move with me. He found a new job, and is still miserable. He complains about everything and anything more than once. For example, whenever he drives my car, he knows he needs to move the seat back to where he likes it. No surprise. But he complains about it every single time he gets onto the driver seat of my car. Hello???

He is from New York City. Not sure of the relevance there. But New Yorkers are known to be complainers. So a complainer is definitely a deal break for me in the future when I am ready to date again.

Erik Olvera January 4, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Hey, there. I’m a writer for the Mercury News and I’m writing a story about dating over 50. Two people – in less than 10 minutes – told me you would be perfect to interview for this piece.

Jamey January 4, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Hi Misty,

I read through all the replies, and just an observation from a complete stranger, it sounds like you are someone who forms themselves to fit other peoples needs and desires. Just sounds like, nothing more, I could be completely wrong. Plus, just *believing* (even just an inkling!) that there is something “wrong with you” puts out a serious negative vibe! Guys sense that like the plague, define it as neediness, and run. And rightly so.

Maybe, you don’t need “your other half”. Maybe, you are a whole person in an of yourself, first, loving yourself first, and you are not half a person walking around craving a relationship in order to feel good about yourself and your abilities. I admit, I laugh when I see people “searching for their other half.” Do they not see their wonderful whole selves right in front of them in the mirror?

And yes, sometimes life problems do take a forefront and need to be taken care of while trusting your potential partner can take care of themselves. I know I would not ask my potential dating partner or possible mate to put me above major life problems. Sorry, but medical issues really factor with me, and no one will ever be a substitute for my health, I know I am going to wake up with me 100% for the rest of my life, so I have to take care of that, first. I have to take care of me first in order to be a good partner. It’s my responsibility, Do you see where I am coming from with that?

Court issues….well…in that event, would you prefer that they put you ahead of those?

It sounds to me (once again, total stranger here) like when you are first starting out with these guys, you are in deep infatuation, and maybe there isn’t all that “connection” you are thinking there is. Most guys that age (40’s and up…argh, my age) are pretty reserved.
Well, maybe you do meet all their criteria on a website. But, a website isn’t real life, and people are a lot more fickle these days when it comes to not just being compatible on paper, but compatible in real life, too. It just happens that way, and sometimes for the better.
Good luck.

Christine January 4, 2007 at 7:30 pm

First of all, I absolutely love this post! And the comments are great too. I was lucky enough to have the experience of a man calling me after 17 years and apologizing for the way he had treated me in our 3 year relationship. I didn’t realize I had any residual feelings to clean up, but the conversation allowed me to participate in a very powerful moment of forgiveness. Somehow when you forgive, you are forgiven too. I ended up learnng that I still felt some genuine love for this man and we are friends once again. Here’s to us all finding our courage, making amends, making friends, and getting on with life…DG style!

Aggressively Single January 4, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Yet another comment to and about Mitsy – it’s all in the attitude, girlfriend. I’ve had completely different dating experiences than you, and I’m sure I’m no more fabulous than you are. But, I do have a great attitude. I really like dating! Every man I’ve met has been really great in some way. I could see myself as friends with any of them, and maybe really get to know a few.

I had the extreme good fortune to really hit it off with the first guy I met when I started dating again. We had a great time together for 9 weeks. When I broke it off with him because he wasn’t attentive enough, I didn’t bemoan that there are no good available men, I said, “that was fun, I learned a lot, and I’d like to do it again only a little differently”. I again was very fortunate to immediately meet someone else who was even better for me. If you expect good things to come from meeting new people, you will find they nearly always do! Contrast this with your attitude “This (negative stuff) has happened to me time and time again. …….I’m 46 and and have had the worst luck trying to find a stable relationship in the last 7 years.” No wonder things aren’t working out – deep inside you don’t expect them to. Can you adjust your attitude for 2007 – just go into this for fun, perhaps to meet nice new men friends? Drop the negative thinking that seems to be holding you back? Maybe back off from dating and the pressure that puts on you and work on really bonding with friends for a little while? And a note, I’m in a very small town and so many girlfriends warned me how hard it is to meet nice men. Balderdash! There are tons of them out there! If this new guy disappoints, I won’t hesitate to cut my losses, learn from it, and meet another new terrific guy who I’m sure will be better still. Here’s to a great 2007, all you intrepid daters!

traci January 5, 2007 at 6:22 am

I am brave–I wouldn’t do anything differently.

Mitsy January 5, 2007 at 8:01 am

“If you expect good things to come from meeting new people, you will find they nearly always do!”

I can’t possibly respond to all of the posts, but I will add that the above line IS what I have expected. I keep thinking, this next one will be a keeper. I keep meeting new guys and trying not to have high expectations. When the GUY is the one acting interesting, pursuing, calling, etc., is it not normal to believe the guy wants to date you? It’s the reality that they talk out of both sides of their mouths WAY too often. We can sugar coat it and pretend that we’re just meeting and making new friends. Trust me, I have plenty of friends, both male & female. If I were merely wanting friends, I would seek other options other than a dating site to meet people.

And what I’m talking about is not simply “fitting someone’s criteria on paper or on a website”, I’m talking about a chemistry and spark between 2 people that is NOT merely wishful thinking. I’m not so ignorant that I can’t see what’s there at the time. The men, it seems, maybe are not ready for a relationship. So, if that is the case, then don’t have a profile online. If you have health issues, legal issues, then frickin’ take care of them before you try to get involved with someone else. Don’t make your new potential love interest suffer because you can’t juggle everything. At the very least, you need to tell the other person that you need to take care of these things before getting further involved. That is only fair really.

I think there needs to be a list put on yahoopersonals.com and Match.com for dating guidelines. In order to put a profile online, you need to adhere to the following:

1. If you are only separated or been out of a long-term relationship, you need to wait until you are divorced or been out of a long-term relationship for several months before jumping back into the dating pool. Separated men are NOT eligible for dating purposes. Get the divorce!

2. If you have extreme legal issues going on, (suing someone, have a nasty custody battle or trying to make your million off the court system) do not start dating someone until you have these matters under control or done with.

3. If you have a substance abuse problem, forget dating sites to find someone. Get clean, get sober and then think about finding a woman.

4. If you have extreme financial issues that would create a hardship to date someone, think long and hard before putting a profile online. McDonald’s is fine once in a while, and most women don’t expect caviar & steak, but don’t be a cheapskate and think you can have a normal dating life.

5. If you have a job that keeps you “on call”, be realistic about the time you have to date someone. If you cannot squeeze someone into your life, then make adjustments or be content to be single. If you don’t make some effort, the woman is not going to feel like a priority.

6. If you have real interest in someone (spark, common interests, and no serious other problems ‘see above’), and THEY have interest back, then pursue the relationship and consider that you need to make a dating commitment in order to have a relationship with someone. You have to make some effort and that includes phone calls and scheduled date times. If you decide that you cannot make a dating commitment, then be honest with the person and tell them why you cannot. Doesn’t have to always be the truth, but it needs to be a legitimate reason for not continuing (or make it sound that way). No one needs to be led on.

7. Last and not least, if you are into “serial dating”, you show that you don’t value people as a whole. You always think there will be someone better around the corner. Think again. You might be passing up someone really great just because you weren’t willing to take the time to get to know them. Unless there is zero physical attraction on the first meet, then stop and think before you cross someone off your list.

If every man (and woman) followed the above list, I guarantee you that there would be a lot fewer broken hearts and unrealistic expectations about dating. Otherwise, it wastes everyone’s time.

Bruce Daley January 5, 2007 at 8:51 am

Private Daley reporting for Boyfriend Bootcamp Sargeant!

Mitsy January 5, 2007 at 9:41 am

I think the above is a neat story and I appreciate the sentiments it alludes to, but if most of us were able to turn our feelings off and on in this manner, then there would be virtually no heartbreaks in the world of dating. It’s just like the person who says that they are over their ex, but deep down, they know that is not true and saying so does not make it a reality. Time heals a lot of wounds, and unfortunately, there is no shortcut in the process of grief. No one can tell you to get over something and make it happen. Simply “isn’t so”.

Dating Goddess January 5, 2007 at 11:17 am

Silly Bruce. Don’t you know I’m the General? Five stars! They look great on my tiara.

And since you’ve already read the manual (this blog), you are ahead of the other recruits — except for that pesky *physically* reporting for duty bit!

(Gals — Bruce has committed to buy his plane ticket by Jan. 9 to come see me before the end of the month. Let’s see if he goes AWOL or actually makes it! Stay tuned.)

KC January 5, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Men I am sorry to admit to being part of the gender sometimes when I am exposed to the total lack of character too many show to a woman on something that is suppose to be special. I am proud to admit I am a recovered sports junky and life does go on even though I have no idea of the NCAA National Football champ or even who was in the running.

Guys, when you take a lady out for a special getaway if the temptation is too strong leave the stupid clubs at home. We are supposed to have evolved since we needed to carry one to get a lady in the first place. (Sorry caveman/Neanderthal/missing link humor.)

Christine January 5, 2007 at 6:29 pm

Bravo Bruce! You are clearly a fun, risk taking gentleman that looks like he just may be worthy of our DG!

traci January 5, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Congrats, DG. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll ask him to schedule a layover in my neck of the woods on his way back home . . . I think you need a little competition. ;o)

Dating Goddess January 5, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Traci — we already have competition — closer to home! Ask him about Tennis Gal, and I’m sure there must be others!

Christine — I’m glad you think Bruce is worthy! But really, a man who takes 4 months to meet a woman — is that DG worthy?

🙂

Catie January 6, 2007 at 9:35 pm

Although this view may seem to save pain as we go through the dating process, it will lead to psychopathology. As Mitsy alluded to above, the surface may indicate one thing, while deep down, the person is feeling another. If one suppresses it, ignores it, and moves on too quickly, it will make things harder and more complicated, not easier.
There is no shortcut to getting over grief, whatever the loss. The best way to handle things in dating is to give yourself parameters before you date the person.
We often fall into lust, jump into sex before we really know the person. It is ok to wait a few months to have sex with someone. The timing is different for everyone. Also, if you are the type to fall fast and hard, remember, love takes time; lust, infatuation, and wonder is fast and FEELS permanent. That period of “rose colored glasses” lasts about six months. It is later we begin to see the real person. Respect for ourselves is often forgotten when we are trying to hang onto someone as well. They seem so great at first, we hang on thinking, and hoping, our guy we fell for will return. But it isn’t to be, and talking him into it NEVER works. As soon as you notice the change, you can assess and retreat, give him space and see how he takes it, or confront him, (which he most likely will deny), or tell yourself, and him, you are worth being treated well, and move on. We learn something with each experience. Use that wisdom the next time you choose someone. If you keep repeating patterns, get some help to find out why, and soon you will have a much better chance at picking the right guy for you. This works both ways too. Good luck! CatieB, Therapist and Dater too!

Mitsy January 6, 2007 at 9:54 pm

I think it takes quite a long time to come to the conclusion that we’re better off without a certain person in our lives when we have been rejected by someone. Sometimes it takes months or even years to actually realize it though.

The guy I cared about who left town (and me) earlier last year proved to be one of the most heartbreaking experiences I’ve faced in a number of years. There were a lot of issues going on with him and around him. I realized that I had felt the burden of his life problems during the time I was with him but actually could do nothing about them. (He found out he was diabetic and his ex was taking him to court to sue for custody of the daughter all within a two-month period.) Those problems he did not ask for, but he created a lot of other problems in the mix (some having to do with the childcare of his daughter) which he “could” have done something about. Looking back, I can see how immature and selfish he was on so many levels. His own family members can attest to this fact even now. Part of my healing process has come from knowing that his sister and other family members “knew” I was a catch for the guy and hoped we would have stayed together. Seeing how he has mistreated or ignored some of those family members (as well as his daughter) has helped me to see more clearly how self-centered he was and continues to be.

I was finally able to move on recently and met another guy who did not seem to have the baggage that the last guy had, however, he has now also done a vanishing act.

After a while, the song and dance gets quite old. The eharmony ads are quite misleading, and I get angry every time I see one. Online dating has proven to be very emotionally draining for me. True, I have had more dates in the last couple years than I have in all my dating years combined, BUT, it seems that the average guy is not all that serious about a long-term relationship. They can say whatever they want in their profile but actually living up to that profile is another thing entirely.

As a result, I don’t trust too many men and this last guy has only reinforced what I already suspected. Men like playing games and get their kicks out of pretending to be interested long enough for the woman to start to be interested back. THEN, they have 2nd thoughts. They retreat. Gets tiresome. So, I’m through with the online dating…at least for now.

Elena January 7, 2007 at 6:08 am

I’m confused. How is this different from talking to someone over Skype or Yahoo Messenger and using a web cam or is that the same idea?

Michele January 7, 2007 at 9:40 am

I have been online for about three years now AND have learned many lessons along the way. Sometimes they have been the same lessons over and over again; recently a dear friend told me that you will keep learning the same lessons until you are really ready to have learn. Couple that with having read and reread the book, “Why Men Love Bitches” …harsh title; great insight. I have two lessons I have finally learned 1) stay unattached emotionally as LONG as possible; use the time to get to know the person and refuse to feel the need to choose them until they have CLEARLY chosen you, then and only then do you have to make a choice and even then it doesn’t have to be immediate 2) hold off on sex as long as possible. This one is tough as I am a sensual person, BUT I have learned…

So the journey of dating after forty continues and honestly it is an enjoyable experience!

Dating Goddess January 7, 2007 at 11:07 am

The way I read it, there is no web cam and the process is structured. I’m thinking it’s like some of those tests where it gives you 5 shapes and asks which one is most like you. Then maybe you discuss it via an IM w/your date. Or maybe it’s just paying interactive exercises. The article didn’t clarify.

Bruce Daley January 7, 2007 at 12:27 pm

There is some good advice in this. For example “Remove yourself as much as possible and don’t invest your ego in one particular date……Remember that it’s very easy to get carried away and imbue a profile with overly favorable qualities….Avoid long e-mail correspondences because they tend to heighten expectations.” They haven’t applied for a patent yet, but if they do, it will be interesting to see how these tests work.

Elena January 8, 2007 at 9:39 am

In the past, I’ve normally offered to go dutch AFTER the first date. [I think the guy should pay on the first date if he was the one who asked the woman out.] But I don’t do this out of a sense of obligation or worry that the guy is going to expect something in return if iI don’t pay my own way. I’ve gone dutch out of consideration because I assume that the guys I’m meeting online are also meeting other women and I figure it can quickly get to be very expensive if the guy is expected to pick up the tab on everything. Dinner and a movie one weekend, museum outing and lunch the next. The meter is running.

What I’m doing now is playing it by ear. If a guy invites me to do something or go somewhere that is expensive and he doesn’t say anything about going dutch, I won’t offer. But if the guy invites me out on a date and it is a multi-activity date, I will make an effort to pay for some things, For example, imagine, a Sunday date that consists of brunch, a walk in the park, visiting a museum and then going to the movies and then a couple of drinks or coffee at the end. I will look for a way to treat him to something during the day, if he has picked up the tab on most everything. For example, asking him if he wants to stop and get an ice cream or offering to pay for the both of us at the movies, etc.

I know it is important for the guys to feel like men and to know that they can do something that pleases the woman, but I also think it is important for women to show that they don’t take the guy’s generosity for granted. Is there a happy medium when it comes to who pays?

I think you are right when you say that women can emasculate a guy by insisting on paying, that they can diminish a man’s warm fuzzy feeling toward them. That said, the guys need to make it clear that they are ok with paying. If the check is on the table for longer than 10 seconds and the guy hasn’t looked at it or made some kind of gesture or movement that he’s taking care of it, I assume the guy wants to go dutch but is hoping I will say something first.

One other comment…last month the press in Argentina was talking about Jenna Bush’s Argentine boyfriend. The boyfriend was asked about his relationship with Jenna and what he liked about her. What did he say? He was impressed by the fact that she “had her own credit card” and always “paid her own way” whenever they went out on a date. Nothing about her intelligence, looks or powerful personal connections. Just her ability to go dutch!!

Elena January 8, 2007 at 9:56 am

A friend forwarded this to me today and I thought I would mention it here because it may be of interest to some. It’s an article about tying up loose ends in your emotional life. It isn’t focused on dating but many of the points the writer makes are highly relevant.

http://talentdevelop.com/articles/TULEOFYIK.html

Here’s an excerpt:

“When loose ends are lurking in the back of your mind, they take your focus off doing what it takes to succeed. Loose ends bring you back to a place where you don’t want or need to go.

Loose ends must be tied up so they cannot run free to steal your confidence and concentration. Tying up loose ends allows you to totally focus on doing what you need to do to get where you want to go.”

Dating Goddess January 8, 2007 at 12:02 pm

I think tying up loose ends is important. Over the holidays I sent the Golf Addict a nice letter for closure. One friend asked if I’d heard back from him. When I said no, she said he was a jerk. I said I hadn’t expected anything back, nor was that why I wrote to him. If he was self-absorbed when we went out, why would I think he’d suddenly turn around. No, I wrote him so I would feel good about my part of the ending.

Ally January 8, 2007 at 12:28 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with Elena.
In a day and age when women make money, why should we assume that the guy should pick up the check, especially if we’re dating/investigating early on. In addition, the implication that he is treating me in exchange for (paying for) the pleasure of my company 1)puts a price on it, and 2) ignores that I’m getting the pleasure of his company, as well.
That said, I think the best indicator of how you’d be treated later is how you’re treated on those first dates, so I’d like to see him offer, with me at least offering to split the meal or pay for drinks. That would perhaps (notice the hedge) indicate that neither of us assumes, and both are givers, not takers.

john January 8, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Thank you for the article. I am a new reader of your columns and as I face the date scene again, I have found comfort and sound advice.

ER January 8, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Great post DG, and great replies from Elena and Ally.

I will often pay for the first meal and drinks, but I expect the woman to at least offer to go Dutch. If she doesn’t offer I’ll still see her again, but if she does this a second time, then it’s pretty much over.

The smart woman I’ve dated have always said that they would like to go halves, or that they would like to pay for the whole meal when the check arrives. 99% of the time I pay for the meal, but at least they make a gesture.

The biggest turn-off is when I feel that there is an expectation that I should pay. I don’t have a problem if the check sits on the table and she doesn’t make a move. This could mean that we are having a great time and that she isn’t in a hurry to leave. That’s fine.
But once I start going for my wallet I want to hear her say that she wants to contribute. If she remains silent I think it signals her expectation that I should pay.

Gatti January 8, 2007 at 4:53 pm

I just had a date where I took a train 2 hours each way to his city (cost of about $40) and he INSISTED on paying for lunch, which was very nice, first time it’s happened to me. He also paid for tea and a scone later. Most every other time I’ve gone for my wallet when the guy did and they seems actually relieved that I paid my half.

But this is the UK and maybe the customs are different here…?

Cupertino January 9, 2007 at 1:51 am

On initial dates, I have never minded picking up the check, especially if I had invited the woman. But like ER, I began to resent those women whose actions (or inactions) showed they expected the man to *always* pay.

A men’s group friend of mine had an intriguing strategy once he and his girlfriend were exclusive: when they discussed going out, they flipped a coin to decide who would pay. If the person the coin-flip selected didn’t feel like they had the money at the time, the other person could offer to pay or they would just not go out. But with coin flipping, there was never an uncertain or awkward moment when the check came — it had been decided in advance. Worked for them!

Elena January 9, 2007 at 9:45 am

I think PR should go directly to a professional matchmaker and skip the dating websites. The reason? It sounds like she really isn’t up for it. In her note she says she doesn’t “need the extra “work” of sloughing through the emails of folks that aren’t pre-screened as any sort of match, or browsing the dating aisles like being at a grocery store while hungry…” Sorry but that is the reality of all dating web sites. Some may work harder than others at trying to arrange a match through lengthy pre-screening questionnaires and other bells and whistles, but for the customers who are using the service it still boils down to exchanging emails, figuring out whether or not the connection on paper/on screen will be the same or better in person, etc.

As PR noted, some web sites offer free months if you don’t meet someone, but deep down inside, who really wants that? Nobody signs up for an online dating site thinking “if I don’t find someone in six months, I get another six months for free! Oh goody!!” People sign up hoping to meet someone who knocks their socks off so that they won’t be available in six months!

Although the financial outlay is much greater with a professional matchmaker, there seems like there would be more accountability. If you are paying someone thousands of dollars to find you a mate, they are going to work on your behalf to find an excellent match, not just an ok one. And if they don’t, you can demand that the matchmaker works harder or gives you some kind of partial refund. I’m sure a professional matchmaker’s worst nightmare is bad word of mouth. Now, that said, the professional matchmakers, by their very (exclusive) nature, will have a more limited dating pool than an online web site. Also, there is no guarantee that they will find your soul mate. (Has anyone ever used a professional matchmaker? How did it go?)

If I were PR and I had the cash, time and motivation, I would sign up with a professional matchmaker AND an online web site just to cast the widest net possible. Among the online web sites, I agree with DG about Match.com. At one point I was on Yahoo Personals and Match.com at the same time and found that the quality of the responses I was getting on Match was way better. I tried eHarmony twice but it was a bust. I wouldn’t use it again. Take the eHarmony quiz, if you are curious, but don’t have that web site be your only dating service. OK, perhaps, as a supplement but not as your sole or primary dating site.

Christine January 11, 2007 at 5:37 am

I don’t know why this kind of thing bothers some people. You can’t make an issue out of everything that doesn’t fulfill your best fantasy about a guy. It would not be a dealbreaker for me, unless we had to walk to the restaurant to save gas and eat between the hours of 4 and 6PM. Of course, the coupon thing is not ideal “first date” behavior, but I can’t fault a guy for doing something that I do regularly in everyday life and something that I wouldn’t mind in a boyfriend or partner.

Mitsy January 11, 2007 at 8:20 am

I looked at the site Elena was talking about. For most of us, there are always going to be people in our past that we don’t want to run into and it isn’t always about money or things that need to be hashed out. There are people I don’t want to run into, but it is because I figured out that they were not trustworthy or they somehow took advantage of me or took our friendship for granted. If I ran into them, I might or might not speak to them. I don’t look at that as a stumbling block for other things unless a person had a lot of people in that category for avoidance.

I interpret “loose ends” as financial obligations like the scenario of owing someone money. In that case, it’s quite easy to make things right by doing the proper thing and repaying the person. For an “ex”, it might be more complicated than that. Add kids to the mix, and it becomes even more complicated.

I’m amazed at how many guys have profiles online but have a lot of loose ends that need to be taken care of in the way of financial issues or “ex” issues. I’m now pretty paranoid about a guy who might have custody of a child. In fact, I would actually avoid a guy who had custody of an underage child after the last relationship I had blew up due, to a large degree, a child custody fight.

In fact, I have to wonder how many men (or women) have the time or stamina for dating if they have underage kids at home. I can almost guarantee you problems for the person who ends up dating the person. I have friends and relatives with some pretty bad stories of such scenarios. It is one that I would avoid like the plague. By the time you are in your mid-40’s, the kids should be OUT of the house or nearly out of the house.

A guy with no kids would be ideal for me, but finding one who doesn’t have a lot of other baggage is hard to find.

Gatti January 11, 2007 at 10:01 am

When I started dating a couple of months ago I was gobsmacked at the number of men in their mid to late 50s with toddlers attached, at least part time. After a few experiences I’ve decided that having small children is not an immediate no go zone, but I will weigh the situation carefully. I feel that in such a situation the childless “incomer” (i.e. me) would always be at a disadvantage and the last person whose needs will be met. So preference is being given to men with no children or older teenage children at least.

I never raised any kids of my own, somehow at the age of 53 I don’t want to raise someone elses!

Mitsy January 11, 2007 at 2:16 pm

“I never raised any kids of my own, somehow at the age of 53 I don’t want to raise someone elses!”

Same here. I dealt with that issue a long time ago. And although I do work with college age students at a university, sometimes even THEY get on my last nerve. I’m not a typical “kid person” I guess. It took me a few years to be able to admit that I don’t really enjoy being around ALL children. At 46, I actually enjoy “adult talk” and adult socializing in general.

As a side note here, I remember how irritated I would get years ago when a friend of mine (same age as me) had 2 young daughters she constantly brought with her during our supposed “girl talk” lunches. She was forever distracted and I always felt like I was fighting to keep her attention due to her kids. I eventually quit trying to make lunch or dinner dates with her until her kids were old enough that they didn’t want to hang out with Mom all the time. That was my clue then that I would not likely be a good candidate for a guy who had an underage child at home or had to always get a sitter for his dates. I just didn’t see it being a very easy situation.

I’m sure it’s very hard to be a parent. I’m told it’s the toughest job there is. But, many people seem to forget how hard it is for a single person, who has not raised young children, to date a man or woman who has kids still at home. I’ve had some friends who are divorced tell me that they are not interested in dating until their kids are raised. While that seems like a huge sacrifice to make for your kids, I can understand the thought process. It just gets too complicated when you have those child-rearing obligations.

David Yoho January 11, 2007 at 9:30 pm

To deliver great customer service, you have to treat people with care and respect even when they’re treating you poorly. The real test of a relationship might be how you’ll act when the other is angry, frustrated or fearful.

Dating is much like a hiring interview too, my Queen.
But I guess that’s another comment.

David Yoho January 11, 2007 at 9:48 pm

If you want to go dutch or feel the need to offer, discuss it when asked; do not wait for the check. It’s never concerned me if a woman did not ever offer to pay a share of a meal. There are other ways she can share in a dating investment – tickets, cooking dinner (if she enjoys it), transportation, etc.

I believe most men enjoy it when a woman wants to share the expense of their time together. There were times when I felt like it was done to send a message; I’d have preferred a direct approach. Interesting enough, happily married since 1994, my wife still wants to feel like she’s a partner in our dating, including obtaining coupons.

Fred G January 12, 2007 at 7:57 am

When to be passionately kissing? My memory shows that for me it varies tremendously from different relationships. Although I think the perception is that the male initiates the kiss – I believe it is with many men to be otherwise. Some of us depend on the signals – and that when a woman you are getting to know feels it is appropriate – she will indicate such.

Other men try on their schedule – hence the unpredictability of it all.

If your date was holding off – he might be looking for that feedback in stages or might be getting signals of “wanting to keep things at a distance still”. It is a two person dance.

Janet January 12, 2007 at 1:12 pm

For me it is all about chemistry… If there is one on first date, I will kiss him. And if there is just a tad of chemistry, I might hold it off till the subsequent date. By chemistry I meant the first initial connection, it can be just physical, or how we get along and how the conversation flows. And as far as the other quotient, if I am very very attracted to him, I will kiss him all the time, anywhere anytime.

Gatti January 13, 2007 at 10:58 am

Your last comment is why I tend to be verrrrry conservative about kissing, Janet. It’s highly sexually charged for me, so if I start I want to make sure that I’m in a situation where I don’t want to stop!

Aggressively Single January 13, 2007 at 11:17 am

Kissing is critical for me. Oddly, I was with a man for 14 years, married for 9 who didn’t really like to kiss. After about 9 years I gave up on kissing, and chalked it up as one of the compromises necessary. Now that I’m single again, the Gods have rewarded me, and the first 2 guys I’ve dated more than a few times are EXCELLENT kissers, and LOVE to kiss. Kissing to them is at least as important as it is to me, and not just a necessary step to arouse and bed women.

So, in answer to your questions, don’t like to kiss on the first date even if a lot of chemistry. First dates are for hugs to check out their closeness quotient and their body. Since kissing is a very intimate and special act for me, I prefer to wait ’til maybe the 4th date or later to really kiss passionately. Frequency – much of the time is nice. Timing – kissing spattered throughout the date is very best, especially if you pull away before you’re ready to to build the anticipation. Love to kiss everywhere, tho’ would reserve the really passionate kisses for less public places. Duration – I’ve found I have a very high tolerance for kissing – an hour or two is nice with a guy who really enjoys it too. Since I had 14 years to make up for, my first few weeks of kissing again included many many many hours of it. I’ve almost caught up! Style – I convinced myself during my marriage that men don’t really like to kiss, just use it as a tool to get to sex. But clearly that was a fallacious rationalization. Thank God!!!

Aggressively Single January 13, 2007 at 11:32 am

Well, I seem to feel a little different than the rest of you. During my earlier dating years, I insisted on paying my share and was very generous. Now, I realize that I prefer to be treated just a leeeeetle bit like a princess, and I want a guy who likes to pay. So I NEVER offer on the first date, rarely on the second, and will make a token gesture on the 3rd. I do usually buy tickets or pay for takeout or a dinner or make a meal occaisionally after that, but I’m looking for a man who wants to put forth extra effort to be with me, which includes paying more of the time. This is especially important since I can’t afford as much entertainment as I could in my earlier years.

Aggressively Single January 13, 2007 at 11:41 am

Geez Mitsy, then it’s EZ. Do what you suggest – don’t date those with kids under 18. Save yourself all this theory and headaches and disappointment. I’m 48, never had or wanted kids, and I simply stay clear of guys with kids at home. What’s so hard about that? If you’re as analytical and somewhat negative with your dates as you are here, it’s going to be very hard for you to have a great relationship unless with someone who is attracted to this. Best of Luck!

joljy January 13, 2007 at 8:44 pm

what do you think the 4 main points to think about when choosing a spouse?

Ally January 15, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Practical advice. Thanks!

LA January 17, 2007 at 6:20 pm

All men are emotionally unavailable to some extent. They all consume themselves with work, surgery, kids, cars, motorcycles, golf, skiing, the buds, sitting at the bar, gaming, or looking at their navel. I work with all kinds of men and I hear the same thing. They don’t want to have some chick around to ruin the fun. Unless a woman is putting out for sex or a five course meal they are really not interested. They will put in the the obligatory once a month outing however because it keeps the sex coming. I think the one time a man truly wants the companionship of a woman is after twenty plus years of marriage and he is on his way down physically and hormonally. I am not saying that men are evil by any means. This is just the way they are. Throwing tantrums, talking, tears, or stomping feet will not cause change. It is best to accept reality and have three to four men in the stable with which one can rotate.

Gatti January 18, 2007 at 4:56 pm

DG, you somehow always manage to write about something moments after I start pondering it. How do you do it??

Actually, I haven’t made it past 2 dates with anybody yet (not that they or I are terrible, but I don’t have a lot of free time and just started this dating jaunt a couple of months ago). But some of the likely prospects are very nice and I’m wondering how they will develop and how I will deal with it when they do.

I have a file on my desktop with good tips from your postings like how to say “No thanks!” so nicely that they thank you back, and now, how to approach the sexual exclusivity issue with tact. I’m sure the document will continue to grow…

EED January 18, 2007 at 5:14 pm

First post here. I am a 44 yo single mom with an 8 year old daughter. Less than a year after my ex-husband and I separated, I became involved exclusively with a man for almost a year and a half. We broke up last June. I have not dated since. In September, at the urging of mutual friends, a 51 yo man from Austin and I began an email correspondence. We email once a week and talk by phone once a week. We met in November – surrounded by friends and kids – and had a really nice time together. In our conversations and emails we flirted, expressed interest and threw out the ocassional sexual innuendo. Then in December, after I asked if he was dating anyone, he said he had reconnected with a woman last summer – that they had “hooked up” maybe 4-5 times since then – most recently 2 weeks earlier – that it was passionate, sweet and friendly and that neither of them had interest in making it more of a relationship. Yet, it bothered me … a lot. I am a “one at a time” kind of girl. I like exploring the possibility of a relationship with someone – one person at a time. Granted I haven’t “dated” in decades and from the sounds of it – it is now the norm to be dating many people at once … ok, I get that … but if someone is sleeping with someone else – even if it is only an ocassional “hook-up” is that reason to stop engaging? FYI- the Austin guy is coming to the Northeast at the end of February and I know he will ask to get together. Do I ignore the fact that he sleeps with someone ocassionally? Do I ask if he is still hooking up with this other person and decline a date with him if he is? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? I just don’t get how you can give an attraction to someone a chance to unfold (or fold up and go home) if you have your oars in other ponds so to speak? Finally, my marriage ended because I discovered my husband of 13 years was having an affair … and so I am aware that I have a “slight” sensitivity to this issue. The Austin guys response was “we have known each other 8 hours … relax and let’s see where this goes.” I thought it was an appropriate response, but what about the “hook-ups”? Any advice or thoughts appreciated.

Michele January 18, 2007 at 6:30 pm

The exclusivity talk……….ugh……..my experience has been that two/three months (MAX) is about right, provided you are seeing each other and talking reguraly AND YOU want a long-term relationship with him…BUT……….I prefer to let him bring it up…….if you are intimate with him and you haven’t had the “talk” then you should be using condoms, most men hate them, so eventually they will ask when can we get rid of these and your response, if you want to be exclusive, “As soon as we are exclusive” of course. On the other hand if the condoms don’t bother him and he doesn’t ask about losing them, he may be telling you that he is intimate with others. I go back to the two/three month benchmark, at which point you start the talk IF you want long-term. My experience is you will either both be on the same page or discover issues that may or not be able to be resolved. Try to keep your attachment as neutral as possible until the talk, because in the event you need to move on, your rebound time will be less both in terms of time and heartache. “Dorthy we are not in Kansas anymore!”

Dating Goddess January 18, 2007 at 9:07 pm

EED:

«Do I ignore the fact that he sleeps with someone ocassionally? Do I ask if he is still hooking up with this other person and decline a date with him if he is? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?»

I know you’ve heard of f-buddies and bootie calls. Perhaps that’s why your Austin guy is doing. Some people can have sex without an emotional attachment.

My suggestion is just see what develops with him. You haven’t known him long. As things heat up, there will be plenty of opportunity for this discussion before you take the relationship to the next level.

BTW, I’ve had 4 long-distance false starts. None of them worked out. Too hard to get a connection via phone and email that lasts when you’re together. I’ve had some great connections with them, but then it fizzled when we were together for very long.

ER January 19, 2007 at 4:00 am

Well I finally did it. I plucked up the courage to start contacting some of the women I knew I’d been really bad with.

So after posting here I sent off an email to one of the women I’d hurt last year. I wasn’t asking for forgiveness, as really what I did was unforgivable. I merely wanted her to know that there was nothing about her or her behaviour that had prompted me to disappear on her.
After a few days I got a reply, which came as a bit of a surprise as I really thought she would use this opportunity to give me a bit of my own medicine and ignore me.

Anyway, she was really touched by my email, and I really think that somehow I made her feel a lot better about herself. And in doing that I somehow felt better about myself too.

Seriously, I really am trying to be a better person, and hopefully from now on my behaviour with women will not require that I contact that several months or years later to apologize. Maybe I’ve finally become a real man….we shall see.

Elena January 19, 2007 at 5:39 am

ER,
Thanks for sharing and don’t worry if you don’t get any response from the women you contact or worry about whether the reactions you do receive will be positive or negative. You’re doing this for yourself and for your peace of mind, not for anyone else. The beauty of what you’re doing is that by helping yourself become a better person, you also help others. Also, as long as you continue to live consciously and live in the present moment, you won’t have to worry about contacting people months or years later to apologize because you will always be aware of your actions in the moment.

Aggressively Single January 19, 2007 at 7:56 am

Good timing, as I had an issue last night with a 6 week old relationship where I had the feeling he thought we were pretty much exclusive, but it had not been discussed yet, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to bring it up. Sure enough, he let me know he was upset that I’d made Friday night plans with a guy friend (hey, I waited ’til Thursday!!), then invited him along. Turns out he didn’t AT ALL like being invited as the 2nd guy, even though the friend is truly a good friend and we’ve no interest in each other.

I guess I made a tactical error, and I’m interested to hear if other guys would agree with him, or take it in stride. Hmmm? Up side was that it did force a conversation about expectations and help us learn more about eachother. Turns out he did assume that since we’ve had plans together the last 4 Friday evenings it was a given. I did not make that assumption. Guys, would you feel this way also, and not feel the need to make plans with the woman a few days in advance? And turns out, he had also been a little put off by me referring to him (to others) as my “date”, but what are you supposed to do, call him your boyfriend and risk that it is premature and will scare him off?

Honestly, part of me was a little thrilled at this psuedo macho reaction, as we’re a great match and I do want a relationship and this was the first undeniable sign I’d seen that he feels the same way. We still need to finalize that discussion, but oddly I still feel awkward being the one to bring it up. People, how do we all make this easier?

Aggressively Single January 20, 2007 at 11:28 am

Blogs: Of course DG is the best, but I really enjoy http://www.datingwithoutdrama.com not for the website but for the newsletter she sends each week which is well grounded and very helpful. http://www.topdatingtips.com has lots of great articles and actually provides a list of “The Rules” for both men and women.

Other influences: I try to learn at least one new thing or perspective from people person I spend any time with at all, whether a friend or date. For recent movies, “Babel” was powerful and reminded me to appreciate each lovely moment because right now, this moment, might be the best time you ever have.

For dating books, Greg Behrendt’s “He’s Just Not That Into You” has such a funny and important perspective on relationships for women, I think EVERY woman who has a sense of humor should read this.

For and extra dose of motivation when needed, Brian Tracy gets me going.

Aggressively Single January 20, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Michele, I like your take and the lesson’s you’ve learned. I’m curious how you have determined they have “clearly chosen you”, and how long have you typically had to remain emotionally unattached? I have that book but haven’t read it yet…

Aggressively Single January 20, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Too much build up! Too much pressure! Hope it went well, but I have my doubts…

Gatti January 20, 2007 at 2:50 pm

My ex (we split up in October, though things were up and down for at least two years before that) is moving in with a woman he met 6 weeks ago. Well, not exactly moving in with, she’s in another country for 6 months and he’s going to live rent free in her house, but be a couple when she visits home and eventually moves back. I don’t love him anymore and I certainly don’t want him back but I am simply gobsmacked. 6 weeks??? And I felt a bit premature dating again two months after we split up…

Christine January 21, 2007 at 8:16 am

I think your blog consistently helps to change my “viewing experience” of dating and relationship issues. Admittedly, my feelings of late have been running negative with a lean towards timid, cautious, guarded, distrustful….I know, I know, I’m working on it! In any event, your writing never fails to coax me to consider another, more positive perspective and I think we all appreciate that!

Dating Goddess January 21, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Ah, Gotti, I can relate to your feeling “gobsmacked” (great word. Is it British?). I was dumbfounded to receive a letter from my ex this Christmas informing me he had remarried. Wow! Part of why he left was he said he wanted to be alone so he could focus on his spiritual quest, and he couldn’t do that if he was in a relationship. So either he has made sufficient progress on his quest, was lying to me, or got horny! We’ve been divorced now 2 years, and apart 3.5. I can’t imagine being married so quickly, but then the data shows that men remarry faster than women.

So maybe your ex got lonely.

Dating Goddess January 21, 2007 at 2:02 pm

AS:

We’re just playing here — tweaking Bruce a bit. But hey, gals, Bruce and I are having brunch next Sunday! We’ll see how it goes in person as we have a nice phone and email relationship.

Gatti January 21, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Well, DG, I shouldn’t be too surprised by this. When I moved out (he told me to leave, by the way) I told him he should register as single with the county because you pay less Council Tax. He told me, po faced, that he wouldn’t bother because he didn’t plan to be in the house by himself for that long.

How prescient! Six weeks after that someone contacts him (on Match.com, but the way…), and six weeks later they are sharing their lives and her house.

Yes, gobsmacked is British (I live in the UK), and I hope that she isn’t too terribly that when she finds out that he’s verbally abusive. He was to his last partner, he was to me, he was and often still is to his family.

Somehow I don’t think a couple of months on his own has changed him all that much. Yes, lonely, surely…

bookyone January 21, 2007 at 9:05 pm

What a great idea, a Perfect Boyfriend Application. Here is mine:

Must be highly intelligent and well educated
Must hold a good steady professional job
Must be caring and sensitive
Must have a great sense of humor
Must be devoted to me
Must be relationship & commitment oriented
Must be 100 percent trustworthy

Looks don’t matter to me, it’s how well a man treats me that scores big points. Oh and brains are definitely a HUGE turn on. There’s something about a smart guy that’s very very sexy… 🙂

Traci January 22, 2007 at 7:29 am

I think that part of the problem these days is that with the internet and online dating, we tend to date people that we may not have been interested in at all if we met them at the library or wherever . . .

Mitsy January 22, 2007 at 8:05 am

I think a lot of it boils down to plain old common courtesy. I’m finding that “manners” seem to be a thing of the past for many men supposedly wanting someone to date. To my way of thinking, basic common etiquette should be something that isn’t a far reach for a guy to grasp if he’s not wanting to be alone later. I’m amazed at many men’s thought processes. Some of them probably do not intend to come off as rude or uncaring, but their lack of manners tell us something else. After a while, a woman has to decide if the battle is worth fighting or not. It does get tiring to have to teach a man how to treat us.

Aggressively Single January 22, 2007 at 8:08 am

I feel for you Gatti. Although I feel 90% recovered I’m actually not even officially divorced yet, and I know the day my ex tells me he’s moved in with someone will bring it all flooding back. I only hope that this will facilitate the 10% of healing that remains to be done!

On the exclusivity talk, I’m now reading “why men love bitches” – which is better than it sounds – and they recommend the woman NEVER is the one to bring this up, makes you sound too needy. I understand that take, but not sure I agree. Anyone else??

Josiane Feigon January 22, 2007 at 8:42 am

Congratulations on your San Jose Mercury News mention, that is fantastic and I love reading your blog.

In the subject of manners, and just in case you need new fodder on writing something, I just had a 3-month intimate relationship with a man who said all the right things, super generous, checked in every few hours, told me he didn’t want me seeing other guys, met my friends, my daughter, etc. But something was just not real about the relationship- although it was super fun, I knew something was up when I bought him a cool t-shirt from Banana Republic that he left behind at my house several times. Suddenly I found myself on an airplane headed for Europe when my intuition hit me and I just knew something was definitely not right. I enlisted my sister in helping me do a “columbo-search” on him and we scoured everything- even calling the florist he ordered flowers from. Finally after a few days, we found the house he owned with his wife and turned out he also had a 6-year old daughter. Once I found out, I e-dumped him by texting him “it’s over, you lied” and like most men who are really good at compartmentalizing, he explained he got carried away and knew he was in too far but didn’t know how to get out or tell me. He has called several times since wanting to perhaps renegotiate a new deal- No thank you.

What do you recommend for moving on from a rude situation?

Brad Montgomery January 22, 2007 at 10:28 am

way to go on the San Jose Mercury News coverage. this is a great dating blog — great blog period — and it was cool to see you get some much deserved credit.

You rock girl!

Brad
PS. my blog is http://www.bradlaughs.com Not about dating…. but still fun. 🙂

Paulette January 22, 2007 at 10:38 am

“Being in wonder” — what a fabulous technique for improving ANY relationship, whether personal or professional. Since I pride myself on being open to possibilities, this approach is a welcomed addition for immediate consumption. Thanks for sharing it.

By the way, I second the congratulations on your mention in the San Jose Mercury News. Nice to see a journalist get it right 🙂 While I haven’t posted comments here on your blog very often, there’s rarely a day I miss when it comes to checking in on your wisdom.

john January 22, 2007 at 11:07 am

re. My date said, “I hate to leave. I really wish I could stay with you longer.” Then he sent a “Have a nice life” email a day later. /So instead of thinking the guy who didn’t want to leave was lying, by being in wonder I could see that another alternative was he felt that way in the moment, but then changed his mind upon a day’s reflection.

Are you serious? that wasnt a days reflection, that was finding out he wasnt getting to stay the night. I know a lot of guys who use that as a test line, if you dont invite them to stay over, they move on to easier prey.

bookyone January 22, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Thanks for writing this. And here I’d thought I was the only one who was mystified by male words/behaviors that don’t make sense to my female brain.

Based on my own limited dating/relationship experiences (4 LTRs and many many more dates) here are a few things I’ve noticed about men in general:

Most men are excellent liars.
Don’t believe everything you hear.
Actions always speak louder than words.

Keep up the excellent writing, I really enjoy this blog.

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

NYSharon January 22, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Goddess is right, we want to believe we are the only one you are interested in. We all have abandonment issues at some point and openly flirting with others and/or letting them know of another is just plain mean and game playing. Worthy of being put on the back burner of dating until you shape up. Bruce, you really don’t know very much so you must be falling back on just your looks. Cockyness is the least attractive trait.
Back to Yummy–I just happened to fall in love with a man who is not handsome by any means but it is how he makes me feel when I am with him from the minute I met him. He makes up for it in the way he remembers everything, his genuine interest and being my friend. Treats me like I am special and I feel like I am the only woman in the room. I can rely on his admiration, his good humor, conversation, and it warms my heart and other areas 🙂 much more than any man I have ever dated (there have been plenty).I am often told by other men that they don’t “get it” because he is not, in their minds, worthy of me. I just smile. I resisted this man from the beginning, and then one day I realized that he stole my heart.

Dating Goddess January 22, 2007 at 3:35 pm

Hi Sharon:

What a sweet story about your man. Thanks for sharing it.

Bruce just likes to play, so we give him lots of slack. He’s really a good guy and pretends to be cocky to see if he can get us to play with him. We usually do. It’s fun and he knows more than it appears.

Gatti January 23, 2007 at 3:29 am

Boy, DG, talk about having your finger on the button of the Zeitgeist! Or at least exactly what I’ve been thinking about the last days. My ex was verbally abusive. He was also funny, thoughtful, talented, clean and kind (when he wasn’t being verbally abusive). Also very handsome (even when he was being verbally abusive). He said he loved me and he meant it, but the stress of the yelling and the fights was turning me into a squashed zombie. It took me over two years to get my “Get Out of Jail” card, because I was too downtrodden to leave and had few resources. That’s all changed…

I’ve had a few small setbacks in my dating journey, some of which I’ve told about here, but as the trip continues they seem to become less upsetting. I’m getting more discriminate in who I choose to see, and better at letting things go, something I’ve always had difficulty with.

Getting out of jail – that’s the feeling I’ve had when I come home to the tiny ancient house that I rent, my own front door. Like it’s a reprieve. And every time I feel like I’ve collected the $200.

NYSharon January 23, 2007 at 8:13 am

We are no longer together but the relationship (long story-my fault probably) was such an eye opener to me. It has been difficult finding someone to fill those shoes no matter how attractive they are.
I guess I bit on the bait line that Bruce threw into the lake. LOL I see him in a different light now, cleaver and sexy with a sense of humor.

Mitsy January 23, 2007 at 8:15 am

It sometimes takes quite a while to realize that you had a “Get Out of Jail” card upon leaving a relationship, but hindsight is always 20/20. I was with the wrong guy for many, many years. We were engaged, but he had a lot of immaturity issues. He was selfish and never did grow up. I had some life-changing circumstances in my life when I ended our very long relationship. This was the one and only relationship I ever walked away from, and it was still very hard. I endured his phone calls where he sometimes cried and sometimes chewed me out. His calls were less frequent after a few months and I got so I just quit answering when I thought it was him.

I can now look back and see the bullet I dodged by not remaining with him or marrying him. I can also look back and see the grief I was spared when a couple guys “bailed” on me even though I was quite interested in continuing to see them. The hard thing is that it takes some time to heal from those set-backs and it takes even longer to realize that they did you a favor by not sticking around. I think it’s very easy to also think that they won’t exhibit the same behavior with the next woman who comes into their life. Again, a lot of internet guys simply do not know what they want in life..whether it’s a relationship or anything else.

The sooner we can realize that we’re wasting our time with someone, the better. And in the end, it probably doesn’t matter who ends the relationship, but that if it is not the right one, then you are free to move on to one that might be later.

bookyone January 23, 2007 at 1:05 pm

OK, call me old fashioned, but after being burned way too many times over the years by the immature booty call boys who aren’t interested in a serious long term relationship, I have decided to wait until marriage for my next sexual encounter. No, I’m not particularly religious and I’m not a prude, I’m just older and wiser than I was in years past and tired of playing games. IMHO, waiting separates the good guys (i.e. the commitment oriented, marriage minded mature men) from the game playing boys of all ages.

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

Gatti January 24, 2007 at 3:35 am

Good topic again, DG. The answer for me is: pretty much all the time. After an unpleasant experience (e.g. lovely call on Christmas Eve, made plans for next call, meeting, etc., then got email on Christmas Day morning – ouch! – breaking everything off, then see him every day logging into site), I do not take *anything* for granted. Nothing. My goal is to take each meeting, call, text message, whatever, as charming in itself, but not an indication of more coming, until such time as more comes.

That said, it doesn’t stop me from checking my mailbox when I think a message might be coming in.

Maybe because these are Englishmen things are more naturally reserved. I’ve certainly not had the experiences you’ve had with them coming on so strong on the first meetings. I haven’t made it to sex yet with anyone (heck, I haven’t made it past the second date yet with anyone!!), but having been rather badly treated in my last relationship by a verbal abuser, I’m not about to rush into anything until I’ve seen the guy enough times to feel that I know his personality well enough to continue into something more serious.

Right now one I like very much seems to be fading out (a long shot, to be sure, as he lives in another country, but the contact has become a bit distant and somewhat secretive), another is fun on occasional phone calls but writes one sentence emails that frustrate me, a couple are quite keen to see me again but I don’t feel any spark with them (though they are very nice and were the only ones who paid for lunch), one has a lot on his plate with moving house at present so that’s on hold though he seems keen as well, and a couple are moving up the ranks after first email contact.

And a very special one will be met for the first time in a couple of weeks. But all bets are off until it’s seen there is face-to-face chemistry.

Vulnerable? All the time! But I try to resist it and get on with things. It sometimes works…

Mitsy January 24, 2007 at 9:05 am

It’s hard to not be vulnerable. If you think you might care about a guy and he acts like he cares about you, it’s almost too late to say that you won’t be hurt if things don’t work out. I think after the first initial date is a critical time. If there truly seems to be chemistry, then a woman is left wondering if a 2nd date is not planned soon. Sometimes they continue to call and show interest while not really getting on with things.

I finally sent an e-mail to the one guy I was corresponding with and had one date with asking him basically about his intentions. Apparently, that has worked because he’s now calling me everyday, although we live 2 hours from each other. A 2nd date seems to be apparent and he’s made it clear that he wants to see me. However, I’m not counting on anything at this point.

bookyone January 24, 2007 at 11:23 am

Hi DG,

Wow, this piece really hit the sore spot. Some months ago I became very attracted to a guy at work. One thing led to another and we did the deed. After that he never called me, even though he promised he would. Wouldn’t you know, the lying scum is married? (He told me he was divorced and I believed him – I guess that shows just how stupid I can be).

Needless to say, I’m Googling everyone from here on out…

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

Dating Goddess January 24, 2007 at 11:32 am

Bookyone:

Ugh!

I, too, Google everyone, but unfortunately it is very hard to find personal info. While I’ve found out men’s home address and phone number and clubs he belongs to, I’ve never found anything about their marital status. I’ve heard some people buy an investigative report, but I think you need their birthday and/or Social Security number (if in the US).

The way I discovered a guy was married (before meeting him, which I then didn’t) was through networking with friends who worked at the same company.

Elena January 24, 2007 at 12:37 pm

This video is hysterical and totally on target. It’s actually a clever commercial for a new book about online dating but it’s fun nonetheless. Check it out. It is for anyone who has ever experienced exhilarating online chemistry with someone only to see it go “poof” in an instant at the first coffee date.

Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAvrSiS1zBI

Gatti January 24, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Absolutely brilliant, Elena! And so true, and so sad too… Gosh, they seemed like they’d make a a really nice couple.

So, should we read the book???

Elena January 24, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Hi Gatti,
I have no idea whether the book is worth buying or not since I haven’t actually seen it. I stumbled across the funny video on another blog. According to Amazon, the book goes on sale next week. I’ve already sent an email to Dating Goddess telling her about it. Maybe she can score a free copy from the publisher and blog about it in the future? (hint,hint) 🙂

Bruce Daley January 24, 2007 at 2:31 pm

That sucks!

Elena January 24, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Yes, your list pretty much matches what I would say are my most vulnerable moments, particularly the first two. That whole meeting for the first time and waiting for the phone call or email after the first face-to-face meeting are excruciating.

Last week I had a first (and last) coffee date with a guy who was super gung ho and excited about meeting. During the time that we had been communicating by email, he had already come up with a nickname for me (yeah, I know) and was emailing me poetry. I got cold feet before the first meeting and cancelled, telling him that I was turned off by how personal he was becoming with a complete stranger and that I felt like he had expectations that more than likely weren’t going to be met. He apologized and said that he was acting that way because he could sense that I was someone very special and he was excited about the prospect of just merely meeting me. He also noted that he found me very mysterious because I wasn’t sharing much info about myself. That was all in the vein of my trying to maintain some distance before meeting.

Anyway, I agreed to have coffee with him last week at Starbucks after he emailed me saying that he had no lofty expectations and that he wanted to be friends. He seemed genuine in his email and I thought, why not. It’s only coffee. I arrived 15 minutes early so that I could be comfortable and not be the one looking around the place for him. Anyway, when we met I could see it in his eyes IMMEDIATELY that he was disappointed. That look made the coffee date very awkward for me. It sucked because I was the one who wasn’t all that gung ho about meeting and yet I am the one who was made to feel less than worthy. Blech. Men, you need to do a better job of masking your disappointment.

At the end, he told me to call him if I ever wanted to “hang out.” Huh? I stifled a laugh. This was coming from the same guy who before meeting had given me a nickname, based on something I wrote in my profile, and had been chomping at the bit to meet. I’m proud to say that I told him right there “thanks but no thanks,” that it was obvious there wasn’t any mutual interest, so thanks for meeting for coffee and future good luck on Match.

=========================================
Regarding men’s vulnerable moments, it’s probably after they’ve sent what they hope was a witty, charming introductory email in response to a woman’s ad. Especially if they put some thought into crafting a short, personal note, I’m sure that waiting period, wondering if the woman is going to respond or not, is a vulnerable moment for some men. If they don’t have a picture posted and they email the photo to a woman who has requested to see it before continuining the email communication, that is probably another touchy moment for men. Also, they probably feel vulnerable before the first kiss and the first time they get naked with a woman, but only if it is with a woman that they are really interested in.

Male DG readers, what are your thoughts?

Dating Goddess January 24, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Elena:

I have been where that guy was — having a strong connection with someone via online and phone conversations that I assumed more intimacy than there was. So I don’t fault him, although your story says it was only a one-way connection, when I’ve felt it coming from the guy as well. (But we all know I can live in a fantasy world!)

Your comment “yet I am the one who was made to feel less than worthy” made me think of Eleanor Roosevelt’s great line, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” You are not less than worthy, as I know you well know. He just wasn’t drawn to you. It doesn’t mean you are in any way less than worthy. Next!

So while it is difficult to endure a conversation with someone who clearly isn’t into you, aren’t you glad you agreed to only coffee, rather than lunch or dinner? Imagine enduring that for hours!

ER January 25, 2007 at 12:42 am

I don’t really feel vulnerable getting naked in front of a woman, but I do feel vulnerable the first time I have to ‘do the deed’, as Bookyone so nicely put it.

I don’t feel vulnerable going for the first kiss, but I really really really feel extremely vulnerable when if I’m waiting for a reply on an online dating site. All it takes is for me to receive a few rejections on the same day to blow my confidence and morale for a few weeks. In the end I had to stop online dating as I found it too hard on my ego.

If it’s true that women feel vulnerable after doing the deed due to a ‘physiological chemical release’, then I’d contend that men experience something similar.

I think that men experience a chemical release that either shouts out to them ‘run’, or ‘stay’. Unfortunately while dating and not yet in a relationship, men more often than not experience the ‘run’ chemical. Our behaviour seems to confirm this.

john January 25, 2007 at 4:10 am

I Googled myself just to see what happened, not to any suprise, I didn’t find myself. The search did result in learning that i share a name with a semi famous musician.

Dating Goddess January 25, 2007 at 4:59 am

ER:

Thanks for sharing. I would have never guessed that waiting for an online response would be so nerve wracking!

And what do you think contributes to when you (or men) decide to run vs. stay?

Traci January 25, 2007 at 7:34 am

I make a habit of periodically googling both myself and my phone number . . .

Elena January 25, 2007 at 8:51 am

Personally, I hate this. As someone who has an unusual first and last name and who used to have a relatively high-profile job, I can tell you that I don’t like the fact that a guy can find out a lot about me by typing my name into a search engine. In the past, I would use my real first name in corresponding by email with prospective dates. I stopped doing that after a guy on a date thought he’d impress me by rattling off everything he had learned about me from a Google search, including my real age, where I went to graduate school, awards I had won and how much money I had earned one year. Yes, that kind of info is out there, particularly if you’ve been the subject of newspaper or magazine articles. It really creeped me out. It wasn’t flattering at all. After that experience, I stopped using my real first name on the web and in email communications with strangers. That includes posting here at DG.

Elena January 25, 2007 at 8:55 am

DG,
Thanks for the encouraging words and for reminding me of that quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. That’s a keeper!

Paulette January 25, 2007 at 10:28 am

I, too, Googled just my first name with the city I’m in. Although I’m very easy to find when including both my first and last name, no accurate results appeared at all with only my first name and the city. A great sense of calm came over me.

Dating Goddess January 25, 2007 at 10:35 am

Paulette — I’m so glad you’re able to be in stealth mode! And Elena, it sounds like you are doing a wise thing, too.

On my profile I try to be nebulous, as I’ve found with just my first name, occupation and city it is too easy to find me. And there are hundreds of references to me on the web. However, two other prominent women with my same name also come up, so someone could easily confuse us.

So do be cautious about what you disclose.

Gatti January 25, 2007 at 11:22 am

As soon as I have two or three bits of information I Google. There are a lot of liars, or worse, nuts out there and I feel that it’s the least I can do to inform and/or protect myself. Plus it’s interesting to see what comes up. No one has minded so far.

In my profiles I don’t usually use my real name and don’t give the name of the village I live in, but the nearest larger town or city. I just checked and since there is a hotel in London with the same name as my village and the hotel has something to do with a famous person with my first name, on the 10 page (I didn’t look further) nothing on me shows up. I feel very relieved!

However since I have an unusual last name I don’t usually reveal it until I decide to tell someone about my website. And there are a fair few other references on the web to me as well.

I was a well known person in a particular field in Germany, so maybe I’m used to people knowing about me.

On a curious note, I Googled a recent gentleman and because of what I found out about his company I realized that we had been in email contact briefly four years ago, the first time I tried internet dating. On another site, with another screen name, another photo and another location he was once again attracted to me. Worth persuing, wouldn’t you say?

bookyone January 25, 2007 at 1:30 pm

Hi all,

I personally think Googling a potential date is a SUPER idea, (I only wish I’d done this in the past, it could have saved me a lot of heartache). I now Google any and all potential dates. Unfortunately, this isn’t much help if the guy has a really common name as there may be hundreds of unrelated hits and very little information about the particular individual you’re targeting. It works best for those with unusual names. I have Googled myself a few times, but as I have a fairly common name I have gotten a number of unrelated hits each time. Still, Googling can be a useful tool for the dating wise.

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

Mitsy January 25, 2007 at 1:47 pm

I also have a problem with men who seem too eager or too familiar before they’ve even met me. That was a bit of the problem with the one guy I finally told that we could go out as friends but I could not guarantee anything more.

I was totally turned off by his physical appearance, but we had had a few good conversations on the phone. You really do not know for sure until you meet someone. I do believe it’s best if you at least have a photo of the person or have some idea of what they look like, but in my case, the guy did not look like his photo and I was pretty disappointed at his protruding gut and overall appearance. I could not imagine getting close to him, so that was my que to not drag things out or lead him on–something I’m totally against.

I think caution is important for both people before you meet someone. Getting too chummy via phone or e-mail is a fine line to walk because the other person may look nothing like you imagined and it’s even more awkward trying to pretend that you are not let-down upon meeting. The online dating forums encourage meeting as soon as possible so you don’t waste your time e-mailing &/or phoning without knowing there is a connection in person. I personally want a little time communicating before I meet someone, but I also believe that it’s important to meet and know if you want to see them again.

Gatti January 26, 2007 at 1:32 am

Seems they’re getting more interest than they bargained for, the site is unaccessible in the moment, it’s over it’s bandwidth.

Don’t get me started on Welshmen, I lived there!

Gatti January 27, 2007 at 2:35 am

“The right guy won’t be stupid”, I love it! Another cut and paster from you DG. I wish I’d known that one when I got the Christmas Morning brush off email! But I’ll remember it now and for the next time.

Traci January 27, 2007 at 5:54 pm

Hmmmmm, Bruce is handsome . . .very handsome, actually!

Erin January 27, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Hi, DG. As someone who is in her 40’s and dating, I really appreciate your candor and sense of humor. I have a question though: I read your post about your interview with the radio personality from Portland where you told him to visit your personal web site to see your picture. I have looked on the datinggoddess web site but haven’t found a pic of you. Am I missing something?
Thanks,
Erin

Liz January 28, 2007 at 6:06 pm

I expect a man to look at the website of the university of my employment and any other obvious place online. I do the same for info about them, usually accompanied by a more thorough search starting wtih google. Recently, however, I went out with somebody who had obviously googled me and found things that I did not expect them to know (nothing bad). I was flattered.

john January 30, 2007 at 7:24 am

I love the computer example. I would only add, that like the comps, a few of us have older hard drives, and while we may not be fast, we can be very usefull if you can be patient.

Aggressively Single January 30, 2007 at 10:56 pm

Well, I don’t feel very vulnerable initially. I enjoy dating and when I’ve only had a few dates I guess I don’t feel like I’ve invested much and don’t care as much if it doesn’t work. For me, I feel very vulnerable when I start to get more attached, maybe after dating 2 months or so. Once I start revealing more of myself, really care if it ends, and know it will be harder to replace, I feel pretty vulnerable.

communicatrix January 31, 2007 at 9:30 am

I think I approached my own time as an online dater much like you are: as a grand experiment in a new kind of social interaction. As such, I was the scientist as well as the subject, and when things went south, I let the scientist take over (or at least sit down beside me).

BTW, another *wonderful* book about dating and the early stage of relationships (b/c really, that’s what dating is: the early stage, however brief), is If the Buddha Dated. It was written pre-online dating boom, so some of the content is not 100% up to date, but the perspective is wonderful, sly and refreshing. Much like I imagine the Buddha was!

Gatti February 1, 2007 at 2:22 am

I know this one! A few years ago I went out a few times with a guy who “adored” me. It was awful. Anything I did, any flick of the eyelash, was cause for joy and delight. On a walk he took a little tape recorder and taped my voice as I talked. It was infuriating. And, as you say, disaster is pre-programmed, as no one will always be that perfect. I found myself being deliberately sharp, just to counteract it.

The cracks started showing quickly. He would freak out if we weren’t in constant communication. Within moments of meeting I had become necessary to his existence, which was flattering for a short time but then was quite an unpleasant feeling. I “had” to be perfect for him to feel safe.

I broke it off after a couple of weeks. It wasn’t healthy.

Mitsy February 1, 2007 at 8:00 am

There seems to be extremes between a guy who worships you (I had a guy recently who was over the top with this and we’d only met a couple times) & a guy who doesn’t seem to want to work too hard at establishing a relationship. Why can’t I find a happy medium?

It seems with online dating, that the two extremes are prevalent, although I’ve met way more who seemed lazy and only semi-interested in going out with me than who seemed to idealize me. Neither are attractive to me.

What’s also interesting are the number of men who are separated (and list this in their profile) thinking it would entice someone to e-mail them. I think there should be some background checks and rules on Match & Yahoo about this. At the very least, they should be divorced before putting up a profile. I’ve even written to Yahoo about this problem, but I doubt that they will try to enforce anything.

JohnFrangerson February 1, 2007 at 10:34 am

Nice Post.

That was well said. Always appreciate your indepth views. Keep up the great work!

John

Gatti February 1, 2007 at 2:03 pm

I don’t discriminate, necessarily, about separated. It can mean: marriage broken up, living apart, divorce proceedings in the works, which would be acceptable to me.

I personally know of two men who are separated, with divorces in the works, who are still living in the same house with their (soon to be ex) wives. Now that would be weird for me, if I were to go to see them. Which I haven’t!

Men do so often change one woman fairly quickly for another. I kind of like the idea of him being on his own for a while, but too long and sometimes he’s too set in his ways to make room for you.

There is no one-size-fits-all situation!

cat February 3, 2007 at 2:50 am

it’s all the preparation before the game that ensures a good match. Such a great analogy, even a non-american can understand.
currently dating a guy that has kept the ‘momentum-going’ between dates, with conversations & nice emails, ensuring a sucessful second date & my good opinion.
really enjoy your blog & will recommend. cheers, cat

cat February 3, 2007 at 2:52 am

even as a long-term single, you can still learn stuff..

great blog!

A February 3, 2007 at 9:28 am

There’s a book called “Winning Your Wife Back Before It’s Too Late” by Gary Smalley that uses these and other football penalties to describe situations in (trying to save a failing) marriage.

Gatti February 3, 2007 at 10:51 am

I’m becoming of the mind that it’s better to get to face to face as soon as possible, before you get too “involved” over the phone and with emails. Then if there isn’t a physical chemistry, you haven’t got as far to fall to get over the disappointment.

On that note, DG, you may be interested to hear that the guy who really wanted to get involved with me but someone from the past showed up and, well, he couldn’t have two relationships at once and all like that (the “have a nice life” email came on Christmas morning, after a lovely chat on the phone on Christmas Eve, we hadn’t met yet)…in any event, he’s back on the site with an updated profile (the same one, actually, with a new photo).

Gosh! Wonder what happened??? And…will he get in touch with me? What do you think??? (Irony button firmly pressed…)

Jan February 3, 2007 at 11:09 pm

Happened to me before DG. I talked to this guy on the phone a long long time ago, when I was like 20 and we hit it off right away… he was funny charming yada yada… and when I met him, he was only 5’4. I am 5’6 by the way. And needless to say, when he called me back after the date, I didn’t have to heart to tell him how I felt. I was too young… so I just went POOF! on him!

Gatti February 4, 2007 at 7:32 am

More good quotes for the file from Dewitt Jones’ website:

Creativity is falling in love with the world.

When we believe it, we’ll see it.

And the key to success: Continuously finding the next right answer.

Don’t know if this helps with dating, but it’s certainly helped me find some badly needed focus in my work!

Steve Lindsley February 5, 2007 at 9:44 am

I have SO wanted to be able to take a date to a dance but, alas, I have a mental block when it comes to learning dancing steps. I took disco lessons in the 70s, Country dance lessons in the 80s and tried to learn swing dancing. I just couldn’t pick it up.
Goddess, this is something I think most women want … but some of us are just unable to pick it up. I’m told a great story by a colleague who took his wife to dance lessions but just couldn’t get the hang of it. His wife accused him of paying more attention to the attractive dance instructor than learning the steps. He swears he really wanted to learn. He says it’s the biggest fight he’s ever had with his wife in their 30+ years of marriage.
It sounds as though you didn’t have a bad experience, you had a bad, arrogant (or really self-conscious) date. I would have at least tried … with the understanding that I’m not very good. I would LOVE to learn to swing dance. I WILL keep trying!!

Dating Goddess February 5, 2007 at 10:18 am

Steve: We don’t expect a guy to be Fred Astaire, but just to try with a fun spirit! I bet you’d be fun on a date, as you have the right attitude.

Gatti February 7, 2007 at 1:19 am

I wonder how the phrase “Pretty, Hot and Thick” is playing in the UK where Thick means Dumb. What alternative word could be used, hmm…

H February 7, 2007 at 10:43 am

Where are these men who enjoy/prefer PHAT women? I’m sure not finding them!

Aggressively Single February 7, 2007 at 10:54 am

DG, I’m so glad to hear that even you do some of the same things I do that I kick myself for afterwards. Stewing my own juices instead of creating my own good time, not extricating myself when I’m really done with the situation, not knowing right then a diplomatic way of changing the situation.

I try and learn from each experience the same way you do, which is why it is frustrating that I still make mistakes. Does it get better with more experience and practice? I have to think and hope so! After reading so many books and blogs on the dating rules, sometimes te correct option is not clear: Am I supposed to be a bitch here and insist on what I want, or am I supposed to not care? Am I supposed to be sweet or demanding? Can I just say what I want to or is that bad? Arrggh!

Aggressively Single February 7, 2007 at 11:00 am

Love your ideas about Valentines Day! I’ll bet even those who pooh pooh this made-up holiday secretly wish for a great guy to whisk us away for a romantic weekend.

So what should those who don’t have a valentines date do that evening? I had an all-girls party last year where we all wore high-heeled boots and funny hats, and changed hats every time the word “We” was spoken. That was pretty fun, but the big day itself still felt a bit empty. Suggestions?

bookyone February 7, 2007 at 9:05 pm

Hey, H, I can’t find a good man either. Where have all the good single guys over 40 disappeared to?

Traci February 8, 2007 at 7:37 am

In my area, one of the radio stations is hosting a “bitter ball” for singles on V-day! It isn’t really my cup o’ tea, but your post made me think of it . . . lol. I’ll focus on my kids on V-day–they are my little sweethearts this year. ;o)

NYSharon February 8, 2007 at 10:57 am

A tradition I started after my marriage ended is that I buy myself something that would be a gift I would have wanted from my husband. For my birthday I reset my engagement diamond into a cocktail ring, Christmas I bought a watch. This
Valentines Day I am giving myself a beautiful pair of earings. I relish in the thought that I am now getting what I really want with out having to ask for it. I am using the same amount of money I probably would have spend on my ex or a new lover for that occasion and their is no bother in having to please him.

NYSharon February 8, 2007 at 11:08 am

I think you were on that date with my ex husband.

bookyone February 8, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Hi DG,

I really like this idea. I think it’s about time for me to start a great new V Day tradition.

Regarding the above post, why oh why does everyone in this supposedly enlightened day and age think single people (especially older single women) are bitter and/or unhappy? Compared to my married friends, I have more time to do the things I want to do, more energy to do them and more money to spend on myself. Oh, and I’m usually in a better mood than they are, because I don’t have to deal with anyone else’s BS on a regular basis. If the right guy comes along, I might consider getting involved again, but I’m not jumping through hoops to please anyone; at this time in my life, pleasing myself is WAY more important.

Best wishes from a selfishly happy single bookyone 🙂

Traci February 8, 2007 at 11:20 pm

bookyone–do you really think the people at the “bitter ball” are really bitter? It’s a gimmick to have a party for singles! Also, it’s hosted by a radio station that doesn’t exactly cater to “older single women.” LOL, personally, I cracked up when I heard the commercial! I doubt that anyone there is going to be crying over not having a valentine . . . ;o)

Gatti February 9, 2007 at 10:50 am

I have a fun Valentine’s Day planned. In the morning there is an appointment with my therapist. I can cheerfully report to her that I’ve been very good at the last assignment she gave me – standing up for myself. In the afternoon I have a job interview.

Everyone I’m dating lives too far away for an evening date, but today I arrived home after two days at a trade show and there were flowers in my mailbox. Who knows, by next week I may have something quite different to report!

Gatti February 9, 2007 at 10:51 am

I’ve found 4 in the moment, all over 40, all single, all nice. Unfortunately they are also all in the UK…

Dating Goddess February 9, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Bookyone — My friend Randy Gage (see “Giving, receiving and self-esteem,
http://datinggoddess.wordpress.com/2006/12/07/giving-receiving-and-self-esteem/) says you have to be “selfish” to be available to love and take care of others. As if you don’t focus on taking yourself, you’ll be too worn out to take care of — or focus on — anyone else after a while.

Traci February 10, 2007 at 8:31 am

This is along the same lines, minus the chocolate chip cookie scent:

http://doctoranonymous.blogspot.com/2007/02/sweat-aphrodisiac.html

LOL!!!!!

Ally February 10, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Actually, I read an article about 10 years ago on studies that said it was the smell of pumpkin pie that men were most attracted to most.

On the flip side, I’ve seen several references in the last year that said women are attracted to specific men by the scent in their sweat.

Dr. A February 10, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Thanks Traci for the plug. I think I like the chocolate chip thing better 🙂

I think he "poofed" on me, but... February 10, 2007 at 9:36 pm

I think the man I was getting close to from work has disappeared on me now.
We worked together for 2 years, and the last year, 06, I thought we were getting closer. I say thought because now he’s just disappeared. We spent huge amounts of time talking after work, or just walking around on our breaks talking, even emailing each other outside of work. I thought we were connecting and we even hooked up after all this time talking and getting to know each other. I thought we both enjoyed ourselves, and that we could continue on.
Then in Dec. 06 our company shut down and we were laid off. He said he needed some time to get things together, okay, he said to be patient, okay, he said to trust him, okay, he explained that things were complicated in his life right now and he needed to take care of things, okay, I knew about his past pretty much so I understood where he was coming from on that, then he said he knew he was asking a lot of me, okay, and wanted me to stay loyal to him, okay, and not to be jealous, okay, and that he wouldn’t cheat on me, okay, and he really liked me…etc. You get the picture I’m sure. Needless to say, a few emails here and there since Dec. 06 is about the sum of our contact since. And I honestly don’t know why he even bothered since for the most part they were pretty much generic. I haven’t called him, I haven’t hounded him with emails, I haven’t even gone to his house. I’ve just been waiting.
I don’t know if I’ve been played or I’m being tested. Either way he’s disappeared and I feel hurt and disappointed to say the least. Why do some men feel the need to put on such a display just to get out of hurting your feelings if they really aren’t into you? Why put so much effort into knowing you just to disappear? I just don’t get it.

Anyway thanks for a great site, it’s become a daily stop for me now. 🙂

Steve Lindsley February 10, 2007 at 9:47 pm

“It’s cookies, he smells like cookies, and the smell gets stronger when he’s in heat.” One of my favorite quotes from “Michael.”

Gatti February 11, 2007 at 2:18 am

“Some time to get things together” was the big clue. Whenever anyone says this, man or woman, it means “I am giving you the gentle drop”. And it does hurt when it happens.

I think you’re doing the right thing to not contact him. The best thing to do now is to get out and do stuff that is fun, even if you don’t feel like it. Waiting for that call or email to come will hurt. Trust me, I’m speaking from VAST experience here!

And as we say…”Next!!” Good luck and I agree with you, great stuff here at DG’s, I stop in most days myself.

Lynn February 11, 2007 at 8:02 am

Hi. I enjoyed your article about coming from your “highest self”. I am 41 years old and new to the dating scene, after a 21 year marriage. I met someone and we have dated approximately 10 times over a month and a half. He is 46 and has never been married. I really like the guy. He said he wants to go slow, so I rarely call him, but when I do, he sometimes doesn’t return my phone call.

I invited him to dinner at my home. He is always polite and has not pushed me for any intimate contact. We kiss and hold hands but nothing heavy. It is so refreshing. I thought we had a nice time at dinner, but I called several days later and he didn’t call back. After three days, I called him again. He didn’t call back. Finally, I called and left a message stating that I was hurt and confused. I wasn’t sure if I did something wrong or if this was just how we “go slow”. I was polite on the message and feel that I did come from my highest self, but I also wanted to let him know that I am confused and hurt. I think I was too honest. Why would he want to waste his time on someone who doesn’t even know about dating?

Is he playing games? Is he just not interested in me. I am pretty sure he will not call me back. I have a new respect for my girlfriends who have been out there dating far longer than I.

Traci February 11, 2007 at 11:09 am

Maybe I’m a little gun-shy, but I don’t really consider it a relationship yet at 60 days. If a man brought up the subject of a 60 day review and asked me these questions, it would be time to move on for me–I don’t want a relationship that feels like a job. However, I realize that I’m probably not in the majority. I am curious how the men feel about this as women are usually more interested in this type of communication.

Lynn February 11, 2007 at 11:48 am

I am “new” to the dating scene. And, I have had some disappointments, but you are right – regardless of the outcome, I feel energized by the simple fact that I faced my fear. This online dating thing can sometimes make me feel desperate, but I just keep my chin up and move forward. When I meet a guy that I know is not compatible, I immediately let him know, and I appreciate the same in return.

Frank February 12, 2007 at 12:12 am

It may be appropriate at 60-90 days of dating, not including the initial eMailing and phonecalls. This should be part of the initial eMailing/phone calls discussion, as it would let the other know what to expect, even better would be linking to this entry and discussing the pros/cons of the idea, then some type of agreement made. Definitely do not blind-side the other with it. To do so would make it a formal “Evaluation”. My three cents.

Dating Goddess February 12, 2007 at 12:46 am

Frank — I like your idea a lot about discussing this concept early on! I think that makes a lot of sense.

Traci February 12, 2007 at 8:23 am

I like the idea of discussing this in emails ahead of time also . . .

Jenna February 12, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Hi DG,

I work for a PR firm in San Francisco and one of our clients is a webdating service. Since you write a blog specifically on online dating, I was wondering if I could get your contact info (name, phone #, e-mail address). I appreciate your help!

Jenna

Shawn February 13, 2007 at 2:08 am

Oh, please. I am a man, and only one thing stood out to me that made sense in your list.

Think about this: 90% of men have an affair because the woman does not satisfy him.

75% of women have an affair because of an emotional need for closeness.

#1 reason a man goes poof: The woman he is seeing just does not do it for him in the bedroom. This is assuming that it is a good man that can “bring it on!” in the bedroom.

#2 reason: This particular woman is bringing all the typical woman problems: No job, or low paying job, health problems, does not take care of herself (how could she possibly take any care of a man?), medical problems, emtional problems, mental problems from past relationships, etc, etc.

If you want a really good man, then work on yourself, bring something to the relationship,

Mitsy February 13, 2007 at 8:12 am

I remember last year at this time I was dating Mark, my “separated but married” boyfriend at the time. He told me he would cook dinner that night (Valentine’s Day). I asked him what he wanted for V-day and he said “cologne”–get something that you’d like me to wear. Now keep in mind, that I worked part-time at Wal-Mart and I knew this guy came regularly into the store to shop & to see me. There were oodles of gifts, flowers, etc. on wide tables at the front of the store. It was impossible to not see this stuff as you walked into the store. So, I bought some cologne for him, along with some kitchen utensils (he had just moved into a new place and had virtually no kitchen items). I put this in a fancy little bag and also bought his daughter a box of candy.

Thinking that I’d at least get a flower, balloon or something off of that obvious gift table from the store, I was quite surprised to get nothing from him in the way of a “valentine” momento. His daughter ate dinner with us, which was OK. I managed to get down several bites of the awful meatloaf he’d prepared. The daughter was supposed to go to a friend’s house, but stayed there until way past 8:00 pm. Then another family friend stopped by to see his house. She stayed much too long. However, maybe she didn’t realize that it was V-Day. After all, there were no obvious signs that it was anything more than an average night at home. After Mark took the daughter to her friend’s house, he came back wanting some romance and “lovin'”. I finally told him that I thought it was amazing that he wanted affection when he didn’t even remember to get me a flower or anything. He told me that he was going to take me to a nice restaurant “later”. However, the whole evening was a letdown. I had in my mind what I “thought” should happen and it didn’t EVEN though I had this “boyfriend”. He knew little about how to treat a woman. That became painfully obvious about two and a half months later when he left town to go back to the estranged wife from hell and did not even bother to tell me.

I should have cut my losses much earlier, but I kept hoping things would work out. Anyway, that is my sob story about V-Day last year. This year, even though I have no one to buy a valentine for and won’t get one from anyone, at least I won’t have any expectations that won’t get met. I will be working my usual shift at W-Mart in the women’s clothing dept….just another average night at the store. I will have to ignore that very obvious table with candy, flowers, cards, etc. that I will have to walk past to get to the time clock. I wonder how many other women will be disappointed this year with the holiday? My guess is that there will be many who will get nothing…and some of them might even have husbands or boyfriends. :0

Aggressively Single February 13, 2007 at 10:04 am

Traci, bokkyone, NYsharon, just love your ideas and attitudes!

When Monday morning rolled around with zero mention of Valentines day from the one I’ve been dating, I thought I’d take care of myself and take any pressure off him (not everyone is into Vday, after all) by making my own plans with friends. Strong, independent woman of the 90’snd 2000’s that I am. So I was a little taken aback when he called last nite to make plans and was very upset that I already had them. Isn’t 2 days before Vday a little late to wait?

Don’t we want someone who cares enough about us that if they really want to be together for a certain day or event, they’ll be damn sure to book us in advance for it? So I’m booked with the gals for an early dinner and a guy friend for skating, and just seriously, maybe permanently jeapordized my budding relationship. Arrgggh, life and dating, will I never get the hang of it?

Dating Goddess February 13, 2007 at 11:38 am

AS:

You are so right! Yes, he needs to have asked you ahead of time.

When I spoke to my current guy Friday, there was no mention of V-day. Last night when we talked he said we’ll celebrate but not on Wed. “Why not on Wed.?” I asked. Because he has dance lessons! Now you’d think someone could skip a week for an important event. But no. So he said we’d celebrate in “grand style” this weekend. We’ll see what he considers “grand style.” This one is a hair’s breadth away from being told so long.

Rhea February 13, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Hi, I just wrote something about dating after 40. Good topic, huh?

Gatti February 13, 2007 at 2:56 pm

I have to disagree with you, Shawn. Sometimes a woman thinks that everything is fine, and then he’s gone. No reason.

For your reason number one: gee, you mean he just noticed that she isn’t hot in bed? What was happening before? And is it only she who is the keeper of the flame? Isn’t this a two way street, keeping passion alive? And what about the fellow who doesn’t take care of himself, doesn’t wash, gets out of shape, is too tired, is more interested in his mates or sport?

And as for number two: ask the Dating Goddess about women with high salaried jobs, perfect health, good grooming, sorted emotions and STILL the guy goes -poof-, due to cold feet, commitment issues, or the many other reasons that DG listed in her post.

If you want a really good woman, then work on your yourself, bring something to the relationship.

Gatti February 13, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Girls…it’s happened. I’ve met someone who I think is a keeper, who is, by all observation, happy, sorted, loving and very, very into me. And cute. And right now he’s out of the area with his son because this is school holiday week and they had this trip planned.

But…he gave me a copy of his book for my “bedtime reading” (it’s a political biography, so not very romantic, but still…) and I know that I’m being thought of and will surely get a string of warm text messages tomorrow (thank goodness I showed him how to text!).

Early days, but all good prognosis, I’ll keep you posted!

bookyone February 13, 2007 at 6:16 pm

I agree with Traci, IMHO 90 days seems way too premature to be asking a lot of relationship status questions. I usually wait til the 6 month mark, (if we’ve made it that far), before I start asking a guy questions about where our relationship is going, because by then I’m fairly sure we’re in a relationship – before that it’s just dating. I’ve found the guys I date appreciate this also, as it appears there are a fair number of guys who feel pressured by women who come on too strong in the initial dating phase.

Just my two cents…

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

Chrissy February 13, 2007 at 7:09 pm

I think it depends on the relationship, how close you have become, how much time you have spent together in those 90 days and how honest you’ve been up until that point. I have found in dating as a single in my 40’s, that if the two of you aren’t mature enough to discuss the relationship and where it is going honestly, then you probably aren’t meant to be together.

The man I have been dating for almost 7 months is so wonderful at communicating and making sure that we deal with things as they come up that we would not have had a problem talking that seriously at 90 days…. but with other men I’ve dated who weren’t ready for a “relationship” I’m sure it would have scared them off in a flash.

Aggressively Single February 13, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Ally, those studies hit home, I’m completely intoxicated by the intense and slightly acrid smell of my man’s underarm sweat that starts during, ummm, intimacy. At other times might offend, but at the right time it’s the ultimate aphrodisiac for me. Has to be the right person tho, as I disliked how my Ex smelled. With this guy, I even enjoy how the sweat smells on me later, tho’ others might crinkle their noses. But cookies are good too! In fact just baked a batch of toll house since you all made me long for the scent so!

Aggressively Single February 13, 2007 at 10:50 pm

Love the review, but gosh, I’m so with all you folks on the waiting longer to really feel like you’re actually in a relationship. I don’t understand why the guys I’ve personally dated do feel like we’re in a “relationship” already at the 2 month mark, when I don’t. I thought I was abnormal and take an unusually long time to feel connected, so glad to hear there other feel the same -Traci you rock!!!! But Bookyone, 6 months seems is a little on the long side? You must have a lot of patience if you can wait that long for a relationship! What do you do about sex if you’re not sure you’re in a relationship? And do you date others during this time? I dunno, it’s starting to sound kind of appealing if you can make it work…..

Bruce Daley February 14, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Happy Valentine’s Day

Bruce Daley February 14, 2007 at 4:08 pm

There is actually an expression for the dislike men feel for women who use too much perfume – example “this elevator smells like a French whorehouse.”

Steve Mertz February 14, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Happy Valentines Day Goddess! I wanted to pass this list on to my buddy…he called me this morning to tell me that his girl friend dropped him. She sent him an email and then told him not to bother responding via phone or email! Seemed a little cold to me, Goddess.

bookyone February 14, 2007 at 9:45 pm

Hi Aggressively Single,

I don’t necessarily wait 6 months to have sex, I just prefer waiting to evaluate the relationship’s potential, so I can get a clearer picture of the guy’s true colors so to speak. Sex for me is usually a sooner rather than a later thing, which might explain why I’m still single while most of my gfs who “waited til marriage” are happily married, I don’t know. I wonder if it’s really true what they say about not buying the cow when you can get the milk for free? I’d love to hear a 40+ guy’s take on this old saw…

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

Traci February 14, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Bruce just took the words out of my mouth . . . um, I mean off of my fingertips! ;o) Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dating Goddess February 14, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Traci and Bruce — thanks for the V-Day wishes!

Steve — that is just so tacky! I did two interviews today on this topic. See tomorrow’s posting.

Gatti February 15, 2007 at 12:42 am

A belated Valentine’s Day greeting to the DG and you all!

What you’ve got up there in the article is a Gratitude List, DG. Some people write them every day. I have a special little book for them. And when you think that there is nothing to be grateful for, go back to the basics, as you have: food, water, shelter. So much of the world can’t claim that.

Me? I spent Valentine’s Day text messaging to a man and a little boy, who had taken off on a short trip in the school holiday week. Not quite a romantic dinner out, but very loving in it’s way!

Gatti February 15, 2007 at 12:46 am

Someone told me about a study done where women smelled t-shirts that had been worn by men and chose the one they preferred. The DNA of the participants was tested and it was discovered that the women chose the shirts from men whose DNA was most different than theirs.

So it really IS a case of opposites attract, perhaps. At least on the cellular level!

Gatti February 15, 2007 at 12:50 am

Once I fell in love with a guy at first sight, we slept together a few days later, and we were together for 15 years, most of them happy.

Another case of swift attraction and commitment (though we didn’t have sex for a month or so) lasted nearly four years.

So there is no hard and fast rule, I guess. If something is right, it’s right.

Deb and JoJami February 15, 2007 at 9:49 am

Hope everyone makes sure to wear something special for your Valentine.
For men, try a soft cuddly sweater or for women something with a plunging neckline!
Feel fun and sexy, try something new.

Mari February 15, 2007 at 10:51 am

This is my first time visiting the site but found it helpful in my quest for answers to the misteries of the male mind. I’m not over 40, I’m actually 30 but I’ve found that no matter what age men are most, if not all, act the same. I was recently dating someone for a little over two weeks. He was 6 years younger than I but I thought he was very mature for his age. We spent countless nights on the phone, went out on dates frequently, he was a gentlemen, he was attentive, and every comment that came out of his mouth was how great I was and how great each evening was. He even made me promise not to cheat on him and that if I ever found someone better than him to let him know and to be honest. I agreed and asked the same from him. We even spoke about not wanting just booty calls, that we wanted to continue to date, have fun, and let things evolve on their own. During this time, his recently separated father is dating my friend. He was happy to see his father happy but didn’t approve of their PDA in front of him and his father’s constant conversation about my friend. Needless to say, the last time we were all together he almost got into an agrument with his father regarding his needing to man up and not get taken advantage of by women. I asked him not to argue with his father at the restaurant and for him to wait until everyone was sober and clear minded. He agreed but was still steaming. Before and after the “almost” agrument, he was great with me. He was starring at me lovingly, huged, and kissed me. But right before I dropped him off at home he turned and told me he didn’t want to get into a serious relationship with me right now. I then reminded him of our previous conversation and that we both agreed to take it slow. He then said he has always been in a serious relationship and that right now he didn’t want to get tied down. Which he told me of, he was with his ex for four years and was engaged to her but they broke up at the end of 2005. He then exits the car but before he gets out gives me a kiss and tells me to call him. I called him the next morning to discuss conversation from the night before but to my surprise, did not answer nor has he called. I was assured by others that he’s not with another girl. So what went wrong? What in the world happend? How could he go from hot to cold in a matter of hours? Earlier that day he was making plans for us to go out the following weekend. I just don’t understand. I’m so confused, not to mention hurt.

Gatti February 15, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Good luck, DG….

Gatti February 15, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Maybe because he’s only 24 and has, by your accounts, been in a relationship since he was 19? Maybe he’s just too young for you…

Steve Mertz February 15, 2007 at 3:34 pm

Congratulations Goddess! About this beau de jour that did not send a card or flowers on The DAY-Ditch him, he doesn’t get it! You read it here first 😉

TAS February 15, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Maybe he freaked out a little seeing his Dad date a woman your age. I’m assuming she’s close to your age since she’s a friend and most likely in your age group.
Maybe there’s issues between him and his Dad you don’t know about. Maybe something he saw that night or was said really got to him. It’s hard to say. Age can play a huge part in relationships too. Even though we deny it in the beginning, a lot of relationships end because of it. I would give him some more time, email him and let him know you are concerned. Give him the ball, it’s his move. You’ve done your part. It’s just a thought. I’m not an expert either…

In my case he just disappeared after we had known each other for 2 years (friends & lovers). I haven’t given up yet, but it’s not easy. Sometimes they are beyond our control. I hope in my case he comes back soon.

Good luck, remember to breath.

Aggressively Single February 15, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Well DG, I just gave myself one of the worst VDays ever by being too distant and following “the rules” with the guy I really liked, who really liked me. Felt the need to protect myself by making other plans for Vday without even checking with him first. So strong, so independent, I just stronged myself right out of a relatiionship that could have been great.

He was very upset I didn’t even care enough to ask him about it before making other plans, and now thinks our emotional connection is not strong enough for him, so he broke up with me. I can’t say I blame him, so I guess that can be some kind of a lesson for some of us. Methinks that once the relationship is more established, the “……Bitch” and “He’s Just not that into me “rule books go out the window. He apparently WAS into me, after all, and I hurt and repelled him. Sigh….

Aggressively Single February 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Bookyone, I was more interested in how you handle these issues if you’re dating more than one, which I assume you do for a while until it does feel like a relationship. I don’t think I want to be exclusive anymore until I’m really sure I’ve found someone who wants what I want, and that does pose delicate problems.

And hey, don’t be hard on yourself, you’re a sexual Goddess, and want what you want. Like Gatti, my ex hubby and I were intimate very early on and that lasted 14 years, so who knows???

Dating Goddess February 15, 2007 at 7:37 pm

AS — I feel your pain! It is so easy to blame yourself, but frankly you waited until two days before VD to make your plans with your pals and he should have stepped up before that if he wanted to secure your availability. When you shared this, did he say something like “I assumed we’d be together”? Then shame on him for assuming without verbalizing. I know he was a terrific guy, but you gave him lots of time to make plans with you. He didn’t. And you took care of yourself by making sure you were enjoying yourself rather than moping at home wondering what was going on that he didn’t ask you out.

So, dearest AS, I’m afraid he’s trying to blame you for not checking with him when you gave him ample opportunity to ask you. You aren’t game playing — you are taking care of your own needs rather than waiting for a man to ask you out at the last minute.

I know this is painful because you really liked him, so maybe he’ll realize what a catch he is giving up by his lack of thoughtfulness and he’ll come back. But otherwise, you don’t want a guy who makes assumptions and waits ’til the last minute, do you?

Coach Amy Schoen February 15, 2007 at 10:30 pm

It ‘s important to access the reasons for which the person is dating you and if they match the reasons for which you are dating. You can have the conversation, “I am dating with the goal of finding a marriage partner” early on. If this is what you want then the sooner the subject is brought up the better. If it scares away the person, then let him or her go!

Different relationships have different paces. Alot depends on how often you see each other during the week. Sometimes you see someone several times a week and other times one or two times a month. We all have busy schedules. Also, how do you know that you are the only one he or she is dating. The issue of exclusivity usually comes up around the 2 month mark or not! It’s too soon for analysis. All along the way you need to access if you share similar values, have the same life goals and satisfies your “must have” list. (From my book, this is the “Motivated to Marry Method” to dating- even if marriage is not your goal. )

If all that is there, then you can start talking about your desire for the relationship- however, if it’s too much work, ususally it’s a no go. When it’s right, it just flows!

Coach Amy Schoen February 15, 2007 at 10:35 pm

In my February ezine on http://www.heartmindconnection.com I talk about how it’s important as a single person to apprectiate those who are in your life, be it a child, a parent or your good friend. Valentines Day is about showing grand affection for those important people in your life.

Kudos to you Dating Goddess for sharing your thoughts on what’s really important in our lives and to focus on what we do have.

bookyone February 16, 2007 at 12:56 am

Hi DG,

In the immortal words of SATC’s Mr. Big, “abso-f**kin-lutely.” I know I have my guard up way too much, especially when I first meet a guy I’m interested in; this is something I need to work on. Unfortunately, I think most of us over 40s have relationship and/or personal baggage from our pasts that we bring into new relationships, whether consciously or on an unconscious level.

I guess the real question IMHO is: how do you deal with your baggage? Do you ignore it and sweep it under the rug and hope it will go away, or do you spill your guts out about your past and present relationship issues to your latest and greatest in the hope that he will help you to deal with your issues instead of heding for the hills faster than you can say Jack Robinson? How do you feel if he opens up right away, does it make you feel queasy or do you gratefully embrace his sensitive side?

This is definitely a hot button issue for me and something I need to do a lot more thinking about.

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

Strblonde February 16, 2007 at 5:31 am

This was particularly poignant for me right now cuz I have just been rejected yet again by a man who I was POSITIVE was THE ONE this time. He seemed to fall for me hard right away and because he was not the handsomest man I’ve ever dated, I felt he was being truly humble. He professes to be a Christian too, and because he knew how he was supposed to treat people I felt was truly sincere. But because of HIS abusive, troubled past he had walls, no doubt, that cannot be broken down yet. In the meantime, my “baggage” of a broken heart through divorce, low self-esteem from childhood, an accident that killed my sister and nephew, discovery of my son’s homosexuality, did not allow me to offer him the comfort he needed. Yes, indeed, how DO you have a relationship with all those issues in the way?

Peace in Christ,
Strblonde

Mari February 16, 2007 at 9:00 am

Thanks for the insight and I have thought about it, a lot, and I’ve finally come to terms with this whole situation. I just need to let it go..another bites the dust. The age difference was a huge issue with me but he kept telling me that it didn’t matter and to give him a chance. I do know that there are other personal issues going on with his family. As for my friend, she’s 43 and his dad is 46. I know that his dad getting serious with her this early was bothering him because he kept telling me it was. But whatever the case may be, I thought he would “man-up” and just text, email, or call me and just end things on a good note. I did leave the ball in his hands. I told him that if he was still interested that I would be happy to give us another chance to date slowly. As of yet, one week later, I haven’t heard a thing. All I was looking for was closure and to know what in the world happened. If I did or said something then I want to correct it so that I won’t do it with the next guy I meet. That’s all but I guess that’s too much to ask for. Although, I must say I do feel much better now that I’ve vented a little. Thanks.

Mitsy February 16, 2007 at 9:10 am

On the other side of the coin, I have simply had my heart out on my sleeve way too many times. I have many more people “connected” to me than not connected, but I am continually hurt (very deeply, I might add) when a guy ACTS like he’s so very interested in me and then bails. I can’t deal with phony or dishonest people..that is my biggest pet peeve about people. I refuse to be phony with others and resent it big time when it’s done to me. If people were a little more honest and a little less self-centered, there would be fewer heartbreaks and unhappy people. Too many people put on a fake persona.

As far as the wall goes, if you never take it down, you will never be able to get close to most people. I know that there is a fine line between that wall and leaving yourself vulnerable for more hurt. In my case, I have to find a way to balance both of those as I simply have been hurt about 3 too many times in recent years to deal with anymore grief. Sadly, most of that grief has come from MEN.

Mitsy February 16, 2007 at 9:16 am

P.S. to Strblonde…

The last two guys I was interested in or involved with were certainly NOT Tom Cruise lookalikes. They were both overweight and nice looking (to me), but I’m sure a lot of women might not find them attractive. This last guy “claimed” to also be a Christian. I was duped into believing he “could” be the one as well, but then he started playing games. He had some immaturity issues, control issues, etc. Never ceases to amaze me the number of men in their 40’s who have not grown up and do not know a thing about relationships or how to treat a woman. Just remember, it isn’t just you feeling the rejection. Many of us have been in that boat many times. I certainly have.

jules February 16, 2007 at 2:57 pm

I just had a confusing “poof” experience as well and I can’t quit wondering what went wrong.

A couple of months ago I reconnected online with my boyfriend of 13 years ago. I broke up with him when we were 21 and I had always thought about him alot. Turns out, he never married or had kids. (I’m divorced with 2 kids)

We began emailing and then IMing and it was going great. He was definitely the one pursueing and he said so many nice things and how he wished he was with me, we had so much fun dating long ago. (He lives 700 miles away.) He was near me for business and begged me to come see him, but I didn’t have a babysitter, it was short notice and I just couldn’t.

We made plans to meet in a week and we were both extremely excited. Out of the blue, he IMed me “could you deal with someone who has to travel a lot, but always came home and gave you lots of attention and respect and made you a priority? I said yes, he said that’s good, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

That was 3 weeks ago and the last time we IMed. He did send me an email a few days later explaining that he had to go to Japan on business and he’d try to email me, he even told me when he’d be home and said maybe he’ll get a break soon and we can meet. But his business is all of the sudden beginning to take off and he needs to take advantage of that while he can.

I know he is a total workaholic, travels all the time, works 18 hour days, but to not have time to email someone in almost 3 weeks seems like a “poof” to me! I don’t know why he couldn’t just be honest and say he doesn’t have time for a relationship.

This is a very unsatisfying ending to something I dreamed about for 13 years. I have not contacted except to say initially “have a nice trip, email me if you get a chance, if not, it’s ok, I know your life is hectic right now. ”

I don’t know if I should just let it go, keep hoping, or email him myself?

Dating Goddess February 16, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Jules — I think when some men get a confirmation that a woman will be there, as you told him you would be OK with his travel, they stop “wooing.” I’ve seen this. Once they think everything is hunky dorey, like if you aren’t seeing others, they get complacent and stop trying.

So, keep going out with others. And if you’re available when he gets back, pick up. But don’t wait for him.

Steve Lindsley February 16, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Goddess,
Thanks for that. After 17 years single, and very little dating in that time, I can safely say I built “The Wall.” You’ve given me much room for thought … although I thought I’d delighted in the fact I AM a curmudgeon, but see where it’s gotten me.

Steve Lindsley February 17, 2007 at 7:39 am

Goddess,
I’m not so sure I agree that ALL “midlife” men don’t know how to “date.”
As I’ve said before, when I was 20, my idea of a “date” was dinner at a low-cost restaurant and the drive-in movie. Girls seemed to like it, because I dated a lot. I saw “The Sting” 13 times, each with a different date.
However, I do admit I took the woman I finally married to a Barry Manilow concert. So romantic.
These days, I’ve taken dates on hikes, to concerts, to great dining venues, to the beach, to live theater, etc.
I think what I’ve lost is the ability to “romance.” You have to admit, Goddess, things are different than they were 20, 30 and 40 years ago. Women are realizing they don’t need men to have a great life and it takes a stellar man to meet their needs. Those stellar men … most are already married.
I know calling the day of an event is pretty rude, but with all the choices we have, and the places to find those choices … the internet, cable, arts sections and, yes, even radio and TV, sometimes you stumble onto an event you think might be fun.
It’s OK, Goddess, to express your feelings about what you’d like in proper boyfriend behavior. If you said you didn’t want phone calls the day of, I’d try to make more of an effort to plan ahead … knowing we’d miss some great day-of entertainment. But, if you’re spontaneous, even better.

Aggressively Single February 17, 2007 at 9:19 am

DG, you are the best, and have helped me feel a little better here. He did indeed say esactly that – “of course I assumed we’d be tegether”. And you truly are right, the guy who is right for me is not someone who makes assumptions and waits ’til the last minute. That’s a quality I have a particularly hard time with.

On the up side, an unexpected result was that I discovered I still have a lot of grief from my marriage break up. I hadn’t realized I’d stopped feeling and processing the grief right at a peak sad time, when my Ex moved out of town. Coincidently someone I ended up really hitting it off with asked me out exactly then, and I’ve been really dating – aggressively single!! – since then. I mean, I’ve had 2 nice relationships and met/dated 7 or 8 guys since September. So things do happen for a reason. I need some time off to feel! Thanks for your support and that of your blog, makes my day!!

Dating Goddess February 17, 2007 at 9:48 am

Steve:

> I’m not so sure I agree that ALL “midlife” men don’t know how to “date.”

Yes, of course. In the first sentence I did say “many.” You, of course, are one of the few who know how to show a woman a good time.

> Those stellar men … most are already married.

Not all. There’s a great one in Portland who still knows how to be a gentleman and show a woman a good time without pressuring her. 🙂

> I know calling the day of an event is pretty rude, but with all the choices we have, and the places to find those choices … the internet, cable, arts sections and, yes, even radio and TV, sometimes you stumble onto an event you think might be fun.

Absolutely! Not all spontaneity is bad, just if that is all there is it gets old fast.

> If you said you didn’t want phone calls the day of, I’d try to make more of an effort to plan ahead … knowing we’d miss some great day-of entertainment. But, if you’re spontaneous, even better.

Yes, of course! See, you are great bf material!

Gatti February 18, 2007 at 2:05 am

DG, my current guy is solidly on the delight scale! (I almost don’t want to say this as it gets people annoyed with you…)

First date was fun, lunch, a visit to a charity shop window where I’d donated some stuffed animals, a look at my studio, a hug.

Two more meetings, still great fun, even with his little boy as chaperone. (Little boy really likes me, a bonus!)

Lots of long phone calls, text messages, talks about feelings and ideas.

Pinch me, I may have found the man who doesn’t disappoint.

Dating Goddess February 18, 2007 at 8:51 am

Gatti — It’s great you found someone who delights you! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! And that his son likes you, too, what a wonderful bonus. Let’s hope this is a long-lasting one.

Chefchick February 18, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Hmm avoiding you on new years and valentine’s is very telling. He’s sending a signal. Don’t put anymore eggs in that basket lady.

john February 18, 2007 at 7:37 pm

I didnt score so well you have a great blog btw its helped me answer quite a few questions that ive had about the dating scene…

coachsappho February 19, 2007 at 9:22 am

great discussion! i can speak from personal and professional experience (i’m a relationship coach who specializes in working with gay and lesbian singles and couples), that ‘love is not enough’.

all u need is love is a quaint, naive notion! a necessary but not sufficient condition (isn’t that what they taught us in philosophy or some science class!).

personally, I loved my two, long term partners (one 14 years and one 7) ‘to death’. ever the patient one, i put up with way too much, in the name of love!

professionally, I teach a type of coaching that looks at becoming ‘more conscious’ in love relationships. one big concept that applies here, i think is ‘balancing your head and your heart’. all head and no passion/chemistry/feeling doesn’t work and neither does all heart and no consciousness.

what’s a good example of ‘balancing head with heart’? it’s feeling love for someone and showing it in your actions but not putting up with behavior from your partner that doesn’t meet your needs.

Paulette February 19, 2007 at 10:42 am

I agree with both coachsappho and Dating Goddess. Love is not enough, and there have been times I was in love when the financial imbalance was tolerable… for awhile. I believe and now recall love masking many things which, when left unchecked for too long, tipped the balance to intolerable. One of the bigger reasons I left a 9-year relationship about a year ago was based in our totally different and seemingly-permanent perspectives on money. At 59 1/2, I’m too young to live that many more years that unhappy! 🙂 I’m grateful for that relationship for the lessons I’ve learned. Nexxxxxt.

Traci February 19, 2007 at 4:07 pm

What does love have to do with your elective medical procedure? Just curious . . .

I’d like a brow lift, but that takes money, not love.

Fred G February 20, 2007 at 7:48 am

Dear DG,

I will only take minor exception to the clause: “one of the top reasons couples have difficulty or break up is over money.” I believe that is a case of confusing cause and effect. The money issue is the sympton – not the problem. The problem I believe is the control of the money – the choice of one person’s value over another – which is really a conflict of unreconciled balance of power/domination.

I think we have all been there. Sometimes the choice on one side is an expression of core values – hot Mustang, Prada someting, Night out with the guys, pedicure. The other side says we can not afford it. Other times it is a test of control/power – mostly the same list as above. Often times the list above causes no conflicts. Different people, different values, different motivations. Conflict nontheless – “Root Cause” is the way to assess.

NYSharon February 20, 2007 at 8:50 am

Hey DG. If this is the guy who didn’t want to dance or leave because he paid to get in–yikes, leave it behind you. I am really convinced he is clueless (and possibly my ex) and we are way to mature to be training new men unless they are “pups” (under age 35 in my book). It is uncanny that we think so alike since I have a less ridged score system. If I am disappointed a lot, that is my red flag.The guy I’ve been seeing recently (casually 5 months) was supose to call me NewYears so that we could meet up for a drink and didn’t. I left a message for him saying that I was disappointed. He has let two or maybe three weekneds go by with no contact, after I told him that it that I at least would like a check-in call even if we weren’t going to see each other. On Valentines Day he called at 8:00 pm to say hello and wish me one after not hearing from him for over a week, including the weekend. He came by after to plow my drive way (snow storm here in NY) I haven’t heard from him since! I know I will over the next couple days, but now I am so disappointed that I will probably blurt something out like, “hey slacker, I met someone else in the time it took you to get together with me again.” And funny about that—I did. This is the second time around for us, I think he should know by now. Any thoughts?

Mitsy February 21, 2007 at 8:02 am

How true your sentiments. I still harbor resentment for the cop guy from Iowa who simply quit calling me and apparently had no intentions of going on that 2nd date with me. Although he led me to believe that it would happen and called me for a full 2 months during the process. I still think it was time wasted.

However, I have been told by a wise friend that it would have been much worse if I had gone on that 2nd date or 3rd or 4th, only to have him ghost on me later or string me along until I was so caught up in him that I could not detach myself easily. I think of that and sometimes am thankful that it didn’t draw out for a 3rd month or longer. But, I also have to wonder WHY men have this pattern and why I continue to run into men who simply are not serious about wanting a relationship. I believe they have interest to begin with, but once they see that I do want a relationship and am not content for phone calls only, they high tail it away. A majority of these men have contacted me first through the dating site, so it isn’t like I “pick” these men. They pick me and then I think that this one should be better than the last..only to have it end the same.

So, for that reason, I’m taking a dating hiatus. At least I’m not active on the dating sites anymore. And slowly, I’m beginning to feel more like my old self and can enjoy some of the things I used to without the worry about a guy calling me or not..or what is in his distorted little mind at any given moment.

But the process has not been without scars. My only hope is that somehow, somewhere there is a decent man I’m attracted to who actually wants a relationship and has the maturity and staying power to stick with it. I think “maturity” is the key word here.

Mitsy February 21, 2007 at 9:51 am

I don’t know that it has so much to do with age as it does lack of maturity and the fact that so many men I’ve met seem self-absorbed. I find a “laziness” with the men I’ve dated in recent months. Even when I’ve had a full-blown relationship, the guy seemed to be content to sit at home and watch TV instead of thinking of things we could do for a real “date”. I was taken for granted much too soon with that one. But, I think the art of courting seems to be a thing of the past for a lot of men. It doesn’t take a lot of money to think of innovative things you can do on a date. I don’t mind spur of the moment things if it doesn’t conflict with my work schedule. A guy who simply cannot plan on something ahead would not work out for me. I need a guy who won’t break plans and will honor his dating commitments. Too many guys are not serious about wanting a relationship. They waffle and leave the woman hanging a lot. Has happened to me way too much lately.

NYSharon February 21, 2007 at 11:20 am

Hey DG,
My new date from last weekend sent me flowers today with a card that said “Thinking of you today and Can’t wait to see you this weekend.” I believe I am being “courted”?! This is what it is suppose to be like. Meanwhile, since I haven’t heard from slacker, he thinks we are still seeing each other “casually.” Talk about clueless? Guess when he calls I will just say “Who?” 🙂

NYSharon February 21, 2007 at 11:43 am

Men are not good at asking for directions, so sad.
Steve: I think the dating pool is smaller as we get older and some of those fish that have been thrown back in for a reason.

Gatti February 21, 2007 at 11:59 am

Sharon, my guy left flowers in my mailbox when he was on a journey that took him past my house. He sends me funny, loving text messages during the day, emails on days when we’re not together, phonecalls on evenings ditto. I got a present from another trip. Yes, sounds like courted. Nice, isn’t it?

Strblonde February 22, 2007 at 5:28 am

WOW! I agree whole-heartedly with Mitsy! It sounds like she met the same guy from Iowa that I did, except this guy was an engineer and now he is headed for Alaska. He made me so many promises of things we would do together and even asked me to marry him and go to AK with him several times. He is so clearly running from something……. including his responsibilities to his children and is justifying that behavior too. The worst part is, he professed to be such a sincere Christian and loved to take pictures of churches too. I ask myself how a true Christian could hurt someone the way he did me.

Thank you so much for this advice, because yes, I HAVE been harboring revenge but have not acted on it. I need to delete him from my blog and block his emails. He is so high on himself right now with all the job offers he got on his recent trip of interviewing in AK. I truly feel sorry for the two women friends he has there because the one sounds like a very sincere Christian woman also. I would like to warn her but I know that is not my place either. He is also breaking his mother’s heart by leaving.

At least this time I know it was not “ME.”

Mitsy February 22, 2007 at 7:42 am

Cop guy from Iowa “also” claimed to be a Christian. He almost had a gloating attitude about some of his beliefs, but politically, we were more on the same page about some issues. I’m what most would call a liberal Christian. However, I find it alarming that a guy who claims that about his character would act so irresponsibly and foolishly in regards to a woman he appeared to have interest in. His behavior truly seemed jr. high at best.

My only regret in this was not cutting it off sooner when he seemed to balk on that 2nd date. However, he led me to believe that we would see each other again. He used all kinds of other excuses to not set a firm time or date. I thought we were making some progress in getting to know each other from our many phone conversations. However, it was all just a drawn out game for him. Or..maybe he actually kidded himself into believing his intentions were good. But, intentions never did anything for anyone. It’s actions that make a difference. If a guy has a profile online and indicates he wants a long-term relationship, why would a woman believe that that was not what he wanted? I felt very duped in the process as I have had so many let-downs previously from online guys that I thought surely, THIS guy would not play mind games. Oops..wrong again. I continue to want to write a nasty e-mail to him, but I still hope at some point he contacts me again so I can blow him off. OK, maybe I do still have revenge.

And the other thing that baffles me is how he claimed that his long-time former girlfriend treated him badly. He told me stories of how she took advantage of him money-wise. She also had ill-behaved kids who borrowed money & never repaid it back. He told me on our one and only date that I treated him better in one night than she had treated him in years. Then he turns out like he did. Go figure.

wildirishrose February 22, 2007 at 7:51 am

why do men in their 50’s act like little horndogs? I enjoy going into the chat rooms and talk toothers but all the im’s I get are sexually suggestive. Why can’t I enjopy the room and be left alone by these pervs?

Dating Goddess February 22, 2007 at 10:40 am

Misty — I hadn’t realized this guy you have so much anger with was someone you only had one date with. It is easy to say all sorts of things on the phone, and even mean them at the time, but life changes. Let it go! Don’t send a nasty letter, and definately release this guy with love, wishing him well. He’s out of your life now, so release thinking about him so a new, great guy can come into your life and occupy your mental space.

Gatti February 22, 2007 at 11:01 am

True, if I like someone and they seem to like me then I want to go out on another date, very, very soon. I also believe in not having too long an email and phone call period before actually going out. A few emails and phone calls and then get to the face to face. If it doesn’t work out you haven’t invested much time and emotion. One gal told me that she and a guy exchanged about 200 (!) emails before meeting and then the meeting was a chemistry-free flop.

Don’t let this happen to you…

Gatti February 22, 2007 at 11:05 am

DG, my guy is a sharer, a listener, very generous with his thoughts and feelings. It’s lovely, and I’m not used to it! My most recent experience has made me protective of myself and more prone to keeping my own counsel, but I’m learning to open up with a man who delights in my doing it.

And, yes, we feel like we’ve known each other a very long time though it hasn’t been very long at all. But the more I find out the more I think that this is a very good match, indeed…

Rhea February 22, 2007 at 11:48 am

If ‘generous sharing’ takes place too early (like on the first date), run for the hills! It’s not a good sign, usually.

Mitsy February 22, 2007 at 11:52 am

I think the thing was with this guy was that it WAS such a great first date and there was chemistry and attraction and we had a lot to talk about. Bottom line was, this guy was not ready for a relationship with me or probably anyone at that point. He was just too much of a chicken SHXX to admit it though. Instead of coming clean, he simply quit calling or returning my calls. If this had not happened to me in the past, it might not be as big a deal, but I feel like so many online guys misrepresent themselves and it isn’t just the guys wanting sex too soon who are players. That is the thing here. A guy who leads you on can hurt just as badly as one who is trying to get sex only.

I also agree with meeting fairly quickly. If there is no chemistry, then of course, it’s not worth pursuing. But when the attraction seems to be mutual and THEN there is a lot of contact via phone later, the normal response would be that there would be more dates to come. I just don’t know how to guard against something like this happening again. At this point, I’m not seeking anyone online as they all seem like players to me in one way or another.

Gatti February 22, 2007 at 12:41 pm

With one exception, every guy I went out with since I started this dating lark in December has wanted to go out with me again, but I was the one who decided not to (or it just was not possible to get a time for another date with my mad schedule).

Not a single player in the bunch, as far as I can see. And I’ve found the farthest thing from a player and am going to stay with him and let it develop. We live two hours apart but that doesn’t seem to be stopping anything.

Maybe middle-aged British guys are different? I don’t know, but my ex has already found someone else and is living in her house already! Now there’s a second date with a hey-nonny…

Kat Wilder February 22, 2007 at 12:49 pm

Goddess, I think if you’re talking about midlife men who have been married and divorced (or widowed), it’s probably because their wives probably did all of that for them!

I agree with Steve — telling your partner what you want (in a loving and kind way) is good — well, essential. No one is a mind reader. And it’s important that the woman makes suggestions for fun, too, and plans things that HE enjoys.

I recently dated a man who was “old school” — he made plans for dancing or movies or dinner (and he paid!), etc. That hadn’t happened to me in a while, and it felt nice. But some of the best times we had were cooking a meal together, and then sitting in his hot tub under the stars.

And when I really felt the need to party (which he often didn’t), I called my girlfriends.

Mitsy February 22, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Maybe some of those British men need to move to the states. Particularly NE Mo. :0

P.S. Did that bother you at all that your ex is now living with someone? Just curious.

LuLu February 22, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Well just as in everyting in life, you have your exceptions… There are times when I feel just that comfortable witha man that I can open up earlier in the relationship, and then there are times I know that this is not the person I want to know that much about me. For me I do feel a more of the emotianl bonding only because, he makes me feel as though he cares and is intrested and I am just as interested in his feelings.

Gatti February 22, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Mitsy, it kind of shocked me and I had to consider it a couple of days before I really was sure how I felt about it. I just felt that it was very sudden and strange. In a way it’s really good because he still owes me some money and he’s living rent free there, so I’ll get my money faster! We get along fine now when we have to communicate. Otherwise, I don’t really care. He was verbally abusive for nearly our whole relationship, so I wish her much luck and hope that she’s finally the woman who will say “Not with me, matey!”. She doesn’t even live there at present! She teaches in a foreign country till the end of the school year. He got a sweet deal…

And I have a sweeter one. I did something the other day (a totally innocent, innocuous thing) while with my new boyfriend. It would have started World War 156 with the ex. “Is that all right?” I asked and he said, “Of course, it’s fine, I like it”. Who cares what the ex does, when you can have acceptance like that!

Gatti February 22, 2007 at 3:18 pm

By the way, Mitsy, I got really annoyed and upset at Christmas with a guy who I talked with a few times on the phone and exchanged a few emails. He seemed really keen to meet right after Christmas, and then I got a “Have a nice life” email on Christmas Day morning (super timing…) because someone from before had come back into his life, he said, and he couldn’t do two relationships at the same time. Anyway, he had told me about some of the awful dates he’d been on, where the person showed up and was nothing like they had presented themselves. Then, after beginning his purported relationship he was on the site every day. I wrote to him and asked if there had been perhaps a misunderstanding and he was still available. No, he said, it was all true, he was just checking up on “favourites”. Oh.

Just before I deleted my profile from the site I noticed that he had modified his. I guess his “relationship” didn’t work out. I wondered what I could have said in three phone conversations that was worse than the “slim” woman who was too big to get out of her car or the guy in the dress.

Even though we never met I was hurt to be passed over like that, because I’m everything my photo and profile said. But I got over those feelings in a few days. If that’s how flakey he was I wouldn’t want to go out with him anyway. And something much better came along.

TAS February 22, 2007 at 9:18 pm

I have heard of “wishing someone who has done you wrong” happiness with what ever they are doing or will do, and letting them go, instead of doing the whole revenge thing on them.
It’s hard not to want bad things to happen to them, especially if they did you wrong for no apparent reason. In my case, just plain disappearing after talking about trust and honesty and other words that make you believe and trust them.
And the Goddess is right and has a good point, in that I don’t know what his past was truly like, or how many relationships he was in that turned out bad (other than his two divorces) or whatever is in his past that he’s not okay with or is afraid will happen again or it could be something he doesn’t want me to know about. Whatever it is. We just don’t know everything about someone because we all have things that are so painful we don’t share them with many people, even really close ones.
Again it’s really hard to not want the revenge, to see them hurting and feeling bad for what they did. For them to be hurt by someone they totally were into, who just blew them off like they meant nothing to them.
But, I want to be the better person, so I’m trying to wish him good thoughts and hope he’s doing great and things are moving along for him.
But it’s still hard knowing he’s not going to be there for me anymore and I won’t be seeing him again and I’ll probably never know why he stop talking to me.

🙁

Mitsy February 23, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I think the hard thing about online dating is the continual possibility of meeting someone you think is great and then never seeing them again. This phoniness that others dish out (quite thoughtlessly) is a hard thing to deal with. After all, most of us assume that the reason these men have profiles online are because they DO want to meet someone as well. When things “seem” to click with someone, it’s just so VERY hard to understand someone who pulls the wool over our eyes or vanishes for no apparent reason.

I would love to see a new system in play with some of these dating sites. They need some other kind of screening process to weed out some of the players or men (or women) who lie. True.com supposedly has a screening process to weed out those who are married or have a criminal record, which is a good thing. However, the allure of the internet makes it easy for those who want to lie or misrepresent themselves to others. I think online dating “could” be a really good outlet for dating. However, it has not proven successful for me.

Gatti February 23, 2007 at 1:22 pm

As I said, Mitsy, I had a mostly enjoyable time with internet dating, but that could be due to a number of factors.

Perhaps because the pool of possible matches in the US is so great, there are that many more bad guys. Or maybe American men are different, although I’m sure there are jerks here. But I didn’t meet any of them. I have a fairly high set of criteria for who I would contact, and I seem to have picked fairly well, even when it didn’t catch fire or work out.

Admittedly, there is a certain thrill at looking who is new on the site and would this one or that one be a **teensy** bit better, but…all my various profiles are down now. There is at least one man who can be trusted, it seems!

I’m sorry that it’s not been a good experience for you.

bookyone February 24, 2007 at 2:53 am

Hi DG,

Yes, losing attractiveness is primarily a female fear, although I have a few male friends who fear losing their hair, (actually since they’ve already started to lose it, I guess they fear losing more than they already have). I don’t know why this is such a huge issue for midlife (and sometimes younger) men, heck, there are some of us ladies who find balding men very attractive and even prefer them to the hairier guys. Too bad there isn’t a similar group of men who find midlife women with bad skin attractive, I’d be in demand for the first time in my life. Thank goodness for makeup. 🙂

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

Kristin S February 24, 2007 at 2:55 am

My issue is that I am not sure how I feel anymore about dating. I was married once and have two great children, ages 16 and 12. I am at a good place in my life with hobbies and good work that keep me busy.

I had two serious boyfriends since my divoerce 8 years ago – both poor matches. It is feeling to me almost happier to be alone. I don’t feel the hassle of negotiating with someone. My time is for me…yet I still would like someone special who cares about me and the small things in my day to day.

I tried Match.com but after a few dates I just felt tired of the process. I have always been one to give too much of myself away, and for the first time in my life am really enjoying me. But goodness, I haven’t had sex in two years! Surely there must be a balance.

I’ve had this idea that I would just not look anymore, but if someone came along while I’m enjoying my interests, then great. But how long will I have to wait. I am also self-employed and work through my home, and am feeling a tad isolated lately. My female friends are often so busy with their lives and kids too, it just seems hard to connect with anyone at times.

Any suggestions? Shall I just stay the course, focus on my hobbies, work, kids and maybe that someone will come along. Or should I really “try” to look…although the trying never seems to work for me.

When it comes to love, is a more self-focused attitude better for getting what we want out of life, or should we really be looking?

And the bottom line for me is that I’m just not willing to waste any more of my precious time on people that are not good for me. But I think I lack experience in figuring out who would be good, so I’m just tossing the whole thing aside and letting fate take it’s course. Is this really best?

SOund confused or just at one of those in-between places in life?

Frank February 24, 2007 at 5:48 am

Hi DG,

I’m not overly concerned with physical beauty but much more on inner beauty, what is in their mind and heart. We put too many demands on women and beauty, yet practically nothing for men. Dare I say discrimination. I also prefer a clean natural look, not all made up. Guess I’m just different.

Take Care & Enjoy!

Strblonde February 24, 2007 at 9:06 am

I’ll have to agree…….. internet dating has not proven very good to me either even though I think I did a fairly good job of weeding out the bad ones. I AM glad I never met some of them. I just don’t know how I’m going to recognize the next guy that comes along and professes to be such a good, honest Christian with the same values as me (spiritually, politically). The guy I met from Iowa just sent me an IM one day out of the blue. He had done a search for certain criteria, then sent the remaining three choices an IM. Only 2 of us answered and the other one turned out to be wacky he said. So I was “it.” He convinced me it was God’s doing……. how could I argue that? God DOES bring people into our lives for different reasons, but I don’t think one of those reasons is for that person to lead me on and hurt me the way he did. Considering all the things we had in common though, it was easy to assume that as well. I do know he grew up with a verbally abusive father (a minister, none the less) and that certainly has colored his perceptions. In fact, I dated another man with the same situation. He had problems too, of course. I detailed that in one of my “blogs.” I have just deleted this guy from my friend’s list and blocked his IM and emails. No doubt he will think I am bitter. I am hurt; I am deeply disappointed, but I am not bitter. God will get me through this as He has before. It is just getting more difficult to believe that God DOES have someone in mind for me because I have been divorced for 16 years now. Maybe it’s because I still haven’t gotten it right???

Mitsy February 24, 2007 at 9:36 pm

I think men can change their mind, but I think there is a fine line between something that happens that is a deal breaker and men who simply do not know what they want and think waffle in their interest. Men who are not ready to make a “dating commitment” as Dr. Phil would say, probably don’t need to be dating at all – unless both parties know it’s casual and nothing more. Vanishing is something that I would suspect a teenager or 20-something to do, but not when they are in their 40’s and “should” be mature enough to be straight with a woman–not let her hang, or toy with her emotions. So, I won’t give a pass for behavior some might label as “human” when it really is just “bad behavior”.

Mitsy February 24, 2007 at 9:49 pm

I can so relate to your experience. Cop guy from Iowa really led me to believe he was very interested in me. However, I am very bitter at times and will admit it. I’m angry that every single guy I’ve ever been interested in LED me to believe that he was also interested. I don’t believe I’m such a bad judge of character that I’m getting it wrong each time. I know that on several occasions I’ve had guys who had obvious spark, interest, much in common as well as attraction and it was mutual…not one-sided. Then the guy never makes that 2nd date or 3rd or whatever. Eventually quits calling or simply never calls again after the first or second date and then that’s it. At 46, I’m not desperate. If marriage was all I wanted, that would have happened many years ago. However, it would have been to the wrong guy (possibly two different guys even). I am continually hurt and frustrated that men my age seem like immature boys when it comes to dating. They can’t deal with dating in general so they go “poof”.

I’ve pretty much decided if I ever do meet someone, it won’t be from online. At this point, I can’t even encourage people to go that route since I think the odds of really finding someone are quite small, despite what the eharmony commercials say. I think they need to do a documentary to show the “other” side of the online dating system. I imagine it would expose many men (and possibly some women) who have lied in their profiles, about their intentions, and otherwise used people or took advantage of them in some way. I really think it is a crapshoot regardless.

Christine February 25, 2007 at 6:42 am

I am inclined to agree with Mitsy here, as I am still smarting from the evaporation of a man I loved very much, had known a long time, and went on to enjoy what I thought to be a wonderful 8 month relationship. I would be mortified to admit how hong I have been grieving this. I have really done a number on myself, trying to figure out what I did wrong, desperate to understand what really happened. All he was willing to say was his life was “complicated” and in an email or two, he was gone. (I can still cry as I write this!) I have had insomnia of the most noxious kind since this trauma, and I woke up last night to read this post. Strangely, in a moment, I felt ready to let go and move on. Before this, I KNEW that’s what I had to do, but I have been resisting it, with hopes and wishes and an unclear agenda that he may come back to me. So, I decided to mobilize…dug out the box of memories: love letters, gifts, CDs, and pictures and headed out to the backyard for a goodbye ceremony. I lit a fire in the frigid early morning and burned away the energy that has been keeping me stuck. I’m done. I’m moving on. I’m finally free! I think I’ve been waiting to have amnesia about the whole episode, but I finally realize I’m probably always going to have a fair amount of sadness when I think of him and I don’t have to stop living because of it. (Thank you, DG, for letting me use your fine blog for my drama story this morning, but I just had to go “public” and share my triumph with all of you!

Strblonde February 25, 2007 at 10:42 am

Mitsy, I’m so sorry you are feeling bitter at times but I totally understand. I was that way for a long time with my ex. You are right — it is extremely hard to understand why they go “poof” when there seems to be mutual interest. But yes, they ARE immature when they think that is easier for a woman to accept and they cannot find the guts or the wisdom to tell her that “you just aren’t right for him, even though he thought you might be.” I ordered a book online that I could download called, “Catch Him & Keep Him” by Christian Carter. It is told from a man’s point of view why guys do the dumb things they do and how women can counteract. I will admit I have made some big mistakes in dating and fell right back into the same pattern this last time too. (I should have RE-READ the book!)

I do thank God that I didn’t end up marrying one or two that I thought was “the ONE” or even the one that actually proposed. I would have been divorced a second time I’m sure. As I said, I deleted Iowa guy from my blog friends and blocked his email. He left me an offline msg essentially wondering “why” and blaming ME. I guess some really are that dense.

It is easy to say, “Let go and let God.” It is NOT easy following through on that. I keep praying, that is about all I can do. I have good friends that keep me from sending him a nasty email and give me good advice. It would serve no good purpose. He is just waiting for a reaction out of me, but if I say nothing it will show him his comments mean NOTHING to me. The above article also, helped me SOOO much! I also believe in “what goes around, comes around.” I have just seen it happen with my ex. I had to wait 20 yrs but it finally happened. Hang in there.

Dating Goddess February 25, 2007 at 11:17 am

Christine — I am so glad you’ve seen the cost of your not moving on and have decided to leave this guy behind you. It sounds like you’ve grieved enough and are now healed enough to get on with your life. Without that, no one else great could ever come into your life, as there was no room for him. Now there is a vacuum — a space where he could get into your heart.

It will take courage for you to enter the next encounter, whether it’s just a coffee date or a full relationship. And your past hurt may make you want to be cautious, which is understandable. So consider reading the posting from last week about our building a wall around our heart.

I applaud you and are appreciative of your giving me credit for prompting you to realize you were ready to move on.That makes my heart happy to know I could have some influence, even if I know it was just the words you’d needed to hear at the right time.

bookyone February 25, 2007 at 11:38 am

Hi DG,

I agree with Mitsy and Dr. Phil, a mature man should behave in a mature fashion and not just disappear like a ditsy teenager when he feels “overwhelmed.” Whatever happened to good old fashioned communication? Maybe I was raised in an old fashioned household, but I was taught the importance of good manners and in treating others with dignity and respect. Apparently this wasn’t the case with a good number of my male peers…

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

bookyone February 25, 2007 at 11:40 am

Hi DG,

Date #75 requesting permission to land, now this is too funny. Thanks, I needed a good laugh today. 🙂

Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

Dating Goddess February 25, 2007 at 11:55 am

Yes, Bookyone, people should act mature, responsible, etc. However, for each comment we’ve noted about how men don’t, the guys can list a woman who also acted immaturely. So it’s some people who have some emotional stuntedness. We can gnash our teeth and complain about how this is bad and horrible, or we can accept that a heck of a lot of people aren’t emotionally mature, learn how to tell this quickly, ask ourselves why these people keep coming into our lives and what we need to learn from this, and chose to not have them in our lives, nor steal our emotions by lingering over it and becoming bitter. We need to move on.

trixie67 February 25, 2007 at 9:35 pm

when guys do the dissapearing act is one of the hardest: it’s like a women’s archilles heel. she wants to talk and communicate, whereas he wants to hide. It is rude & it’s frustrating but it’s just what men love doing & I hate it too.

firstly I think it’s short sighted. you will eventually see them again & that bad taste, the lame way they left the situation is a long way to climb back from.

I’m all for forgiving.. it’s just a muscle you have to develope ladies.

trixie67 February 25, 2007 at 9:40 pm

like so many women friends, we don’t appreciate our achievements. we always think we are a fraud, someone will find us out & that we are one step away from the gutter.

the bag lady picking out food scraps is scarily close to our inner selves.

I’ve no idea why we think this, but we do. The Fraud Police are right around the corner.

Mitsy February 26, 2007 at 7:13 am

It would be nice if all women “could” tell quickly about the maturity level of a man, but oftentimes a guy does not show that element until it’s almost over or until he’s gone and you never see him again. I think if a man “changes his mind” which I still think is an excuse for bad behavior, I think he should be mature enough to end it like a stand-up kind of guy should…not this hiding crap or not answering his phone like we’ve heard about time and time again. It simply is not acceptable, but recovering from a guy who has pulled these kind of stunts is more than just “getting over it”. For some of us, the hurt is very deep, depending on how long we were with the guy, our level of interest, expectations, etc.

I continue to feel bad at times over my relationship that went on for 3 1/2 months and then was over. However, looking back, I know I deserved better and will not settle for a guy who has so many life problems that he can’t handle a relationship as well. But, let me state again, THOSE are the men who need not have a profile online. I think there is a different set of expectations with online dating. When men spell it out in black and white, you WANT to believe them. However, a big majority of the men I’ve met online were players or it was just fun and games for them. I’ve yet to find a site that really seems to weed out the undesirables when it comes to online dating. And you don’t hear the horror stories about eharmony in their ads. So, many of us are hoodwinked into thinking that it’s a really great way to meet decent men. I’ve found few decent and sincere men online. I’m beginning to think it isn’t the way to go – at least for me.

electricdreamz74 February 26, 2007 at 9:15 am

I will remember these wise words, as I fly off on Sunday to meet an eHarmony match. The airport boyfriend game is a must! Thanks for all your wonderful thoughts!

Gatti February 26, 2007 at 10:38 am

It saddens me greatly to hear that the men you are meeting are playing the religion card and then acting in a “non-Christian” manner. Again, the UK doesn’t usually wear it’s religion on it’s sleeve, and I contacted men who designated themselves everything from Jewish, to Spiritual but not Religious, to Atheist (which is what my boyfriend listed himself as, and I think he’s the kindest, most caring man I’ve had the pleasure to meet).

So maybe it would be better to concentrate on values as they are shown in action rather than making assumptions based on some religious designation?

Aggressively Single February 26, 2007 at 11:24 am

Men do seem to be particularly prone to seemingly dropping out of site. The “chase is fun until they’re caught” syndrome is well documented, but I agree with DG that women can do this too. The very first guy I met thru on-line dating probably feels this way. We exchanged a LOT of really wonderful emails, and I was very excited about meeting him and I know he felt the same. But when we met, he didn’t look anything like his picture, was 30 pounds heavier than he described, and had a physical ailment that affected his balance. I wouldn’t have let any of these keep me from being friends, but since I’m very fit and athletic, I thought I’d made it clear I was looking for the same. I wasn’t attracted to him, and couldn’t picture having a relationship, so I pursued others instead. I know he was disappointed, but that’s what happens when you’re dating. I did at least tell him later that I felt an emotional attraction but not physical. Maybe drop-out-of-sight guys are commitment phobes, or are afraid of hurting our feelings by being honest?

I think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect complete and unflinchingly honest descriptions from on-line dating sites. No one would ever respond if everyone didn’t sugar coat things a bit. My first profile was straightforward and really described me well, with a plain old normal picture. Few responses, so I put up some nicer, sexier photos and softened my profile. Tons and tons of responses. It was almost offensive since it was the same me, just a better photo and cuter profile. But that’s just how it is!

I always thought on-line dating can be for “hooking up”, finding fun diversions, meeting new people to do things with, or meeting your true love. I mean, there aren’t rules about who can use it and when.

DG is right, if we’re continually meeting people who disapoint, I think we need to examine ourselves, our own actions and attitudes. Examine, not defend! Hard for us humans to learn, but I’m often painfully reminded that whenever my finger is pointing at someone else in blame, there are 4 pointing right back at me!

Aggressively Single February 26, 2007 at 11:25 am

Men do seem to be particularly prone to seemingly dropping out of site. The “chase is fun until they’re caught” syndrome is well documented, but I agree with DG that women can do this too. The very first guy I met thru on-line dating probably feels this way. We exchanged a LOT of really wonderful emails, and I was very excited about meeting him and I know he felt the same. But when we met, he didn’t look anything like his picture, was 30 pounds heavier than he described, and had a physical ailment that affected his balance. I wouldn’t have let any of these keep me from being friends, but since I’m very fit and athletic, I thought I’d made it clear I was looking for the same. I wasn’t attracted to him, and couldn’t picture having a relationship, so I pursued others instead. I know he was disappointed, but that’s what happens when you’re dating. I did at least tell him later that I felt an emotional attraction but not physical. Maybe drop-out-of-sight guys are commitment phobes, or are afraid of hurting our feelings by being honest?

I think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect complete and unflinchingly honest descriptions from on-line dating sites. No one would ever respond if everyone didn’t sugar coat things a bit. My first profile was straightforward and really described me well, with a plain old normal picture. Few responses, so I put up some nicer, sexier photos and softened my profile. Tons and tons of responses. It was almost offensive since it was the same me, just a better photo and cuter profile. But that’s just how it is!

I always thought on-line dating can be for “hooking up”, finding fun diversions, meeting new people to do things with, or meeting your true love. I mean, there aren’t rules about who can use it and when.

DG is right, if we’re continually meeting people who disapoint, I think we need to examine ourselves, our own actions and attitudes. Examine, not defend! Hard for us humans to learn, but I’m often painfully reminded that whenever my finger is pointing at someone else in blame, there are 4 pointing right back at me!

Aggressively Single February 26, 2007 at 11:34 am

Deal breakers: A couch potato, a bad temper. And call me shallow, but after 15 years with an out-of-shape overweight guy, I wouldn’t date anyone who is at all heavy. DG, I’m 5’10” and like them tall too, but one of my favorite guys is a little shorter, and I compromised.

Aggressively Single February 26, 2007 at 11:39 am

You have such a great attitude – you are an inspiration to all of us! Have you found a down side to having lots of “flights” waiting to land?

Mitsy February 26, 2007 at 12:09 pm

I think there should be guidelines about honesty when it comes to online dating though. True, it can be for casual sex if that’s what someone is looking for, but for someone (male or female) to put that they want a long-term commitment, maybe even marriage is quite different than a guy who only seeks a short-term or “casual” hook-up as they say. It’s the misrepresentation that I’m most offended about. Are all men with profiles liars? Probably not, but I’m finding more men who are not truthful in their profiles and in what they want than anything else. I would not waste my time on a guy who simply wants casual sex or a fling type relationship. And I can’t honestly take the blame (as in the fingerpoint illustration) when these men have lead me on, misrepresented themselves or otherwise taken advantage of my affections. It’s not something within ourselves unless we are the ones doing the game-playing. If we are using or hurting other people, then we may need therapy, but when we treat people as we want to be treated and continue to run into these bad behavior men, then it makes me think that the online dating game has some major problems.

And BTW, I think it’s better to be honest with someone we are not attracted to. There are ways to let someone know this without being hurtful or simply vanishing. Even the white lie of having met someone else pretty much covers it in that situation.

Gatti February 26, 2007 at 12:28 pm

My deal breakers:

Drugs
Alcohol abuse
Lying about anything, age, situation, work, current relationships, etc.
Smoking (anyway, but especially when they said they didn’t)
Devious actions – not showing up, continuous excuses, elusiveness, etc.
Verbal abuse or bullying
Put downs, name calling, etc.
Expecting me to get involved in their finances (before there is a long term, exclusive relationship, and probably even not then…)
Lack of kindness.
Personal hygiene.

Many other things are more go with the flow, for example I do like beards (which many women don’t) and baldness is OK too. I’m not fussy about clothes or getting gifts, but I would like to see some sort of maturity in home decor (i.e. at least a few “grown up” paintings/prints amongst the boys toys, reasonably tidy, real furniture). I’m short, so height is not an issue.

I don’t think I could look at bad teeth, and I just couldn’t love a man who couldn’t punctuate!

Mitsy February 26, 2007 at 12:33 pm

I like Gatti’s list. Only thing I can add is a guy who STILL lives with his parents. And I have met 2, in the last 7 years, who were either still living with their parents or were temporarily back living with them. I don’t mind a guy who is close to his family, but I think he needs to have his own place if he wants to date and be an “adult”.

Mitsy February 26, 2007 at 1:14 pm

Strblonde, I’ll have to check out that book you mentioned. Thanks for your thoughts and advice.

Gatti, I am such an unconventional Christian that that was not really high on my list of “must haves”, however, I always thought it would be nice to have a guy who would actually be willing to go to church with me. Cop guy from Iowa was one of the few who actually made the fact that he was a Christian and wanted a Christian, plain in his profile. His behavior actually turned out to be “less” Christian than some of those who did not put that high on their profiles (for being one or wanting someone who was).

I had no illusions that saying you were a Christian meant that they were without sin, but I did believe that a guy who claimed to be one would not exhibit the bad behavior I had seen with so many other men. I expected a bit more and I got quite a lot less from him.

I have never pursued the Christian dating sites, partly because finding a guy who had some common sense and treated me right was more important than if he were a regular church-goer. I doubt that I could be with someone who claimed to be an atheist though.

I think players come in all different shapes and sizes. And I also believe in karma. Sometimes we just have to wait a lot longer to see it come around.

Gatti February 26, 2007 at 2:00 pm

That’s a good one, Mitsy, I hadn’t thought of that, though it would set off my warning bells.

Janet February 26, 2007 at 7:30 pm

These four are on top of my list:
– Being able and open to any types of food – at least try it once.
– A healthy man without needing to go to bathroom for No. 2 every hour or so and not wanting to go somewhere with me due to the fear of not being able to find bathroom when he needed to go
– Not a self conscious person and do not care what public think of him as long as he is not doing anything too crazy or illegal
– Good and spontaneous in bed

My soon to be ex is none of the above and those are a HUGE deal breakers for me. He is the exact total opposite of what I listed above and I told myself that given a second chance, I will not settle for less this time. If I can’t find a man with all of the above, I would rather be single.

LA February 26, 2007 at 8:01 pm

I get so tired of women making excuses for men who go “poof”. If we did that to them they would go in the corner, cry their eyes out, and cut themselves. Why is it okay for men to tell us all the wonderful things they love about us, the great future that they envision, and the great trips and treats they are going to provide for us and then evaporate like they never existed? Are men so completely inept at communication? Are they really SO sensitive they can’t be honest lest they curl up and be sucked into the vortex of Mars Vs. Venus?

I don’t think so. I think they found a girl who has bigger boobs, a tighter ass, and is more willing to do the do on the observation deck. I am so tired of dishonest males. They would never tolerate dishonesty with their mates or their female coworkers so why are they so dishonest with the women who they profess to love?

Help me out here people. I just don’t get it. Then when you call them on it they throw their hands in the air, cry, and walk away so offended. And, we are supposed to sit there with a stupid smile on our face and say “Oh, poor baby”.

Coach Amy Schoen February 26, 2007 at 8:11 pm

Everyone needs to have a good sense of what I call their “Must Haves” and their boundaries. First, you have to have enough sense to know how you want to be treated. Most people, especially those I coach, have a value around kindness and consideration. So it’s not okay to stand someone up or keep them waiting at a resturant for an hour or two without calling and having a good reason. Also, how someone treats others can be a “deal breaker” if someone is rude or obnoxious to another, such as the waitstaff.

Boundaries are how you want to be treated and respected. So if someone is overly physical too soon, that can be a “deal breaker”. It’s a good idea to make a list of how you expect someone to treat you. Practice what to say so you are ready when someone oversteps those boundaries.

Last, there are things and situations we want to have in our lives that we have decided that we will not live without. One of my clients was dating a nice man who had no retirement savings. She scrimpted and saved and had a hard time with the fact he did not have any savings and was not doing anything to assure his financial future. In the end, she broke it off because she needed to be with someone who shared here secure financial life value.

Coach Amy Schoen
http://www.heartmindconnection.com

Mitsy February 27, 2007 at 7:34 am

With my last scenario, I really don’t think it was another woman. I suppose it could be, but I was not getting that vibe at all. He had not been out of his last relationship long and while that was a concern for me, he was positive that he was “over” her. She sounded emotionally abusive, but then he turned around and played mind games with me. If, by chance, he had gone back to her, then that is his problem.

I’m certainly not an “easy” woman, and this guy supposedly didn’t want someone like that anyone…remember, he was this “Christian” guy. Yeah, well, anyway, even Christian men and woman want intimacy, but he wasn’t going to get that (at any point) if he didn’t actually pursue something with me.

I don’t get it either. I just think that the vast majority of men online are fickle, immature, and very selfish. I’ve yet to meet one who turned out to be what he claimed he was.

Strblonde February 27, 2007 at 4:45 pm

These are so true and I have experienced every single one of them, and although men do tell me I’m attractive & that I look in my early 40s instead of 10 yrs older, I find it hard to accept those compliments. But I DO try to take care of what I have. I was never actually harmed physically but when I was PG with my first child I had nightmares of someone chasing me with a knife. Fear of the unknown perhaps? With my 2nd & 3rd child I did not have those dreams. I actually had relatively short and easy childbirths! The last one I experience all the time — my sister was killed in a car accident nine yrs ago, and though we were never close, yes, there are definitely many times I wish I could pick up that phone and talk to her. Abandonment? Of course that came with my ex leaving me and divorcing me. Being used? Of course, hasn’t everyone felt this one? When I lost my job in 2005 due to downsizing, I felt like I was literally kicked out on the street. Who was MY backup? There is no one there to support me but myself. That was scary! Yet God led me through all of these situations and still is. He is the ONLY one I can truly count on.

Strblonde February 27, 2007 at 5:03 pm

I so totally agree. I sure would like to know how to “tell” the commitment phobes apart. Of course they don’t get that way until you start showing an interest back. Even though I got this “Catch Him & Keep Him” book, I’m still not really sure how to “keep” him. When does one ever get to be yourself? I am leary, too, about meeting any more men through the personals. I agree, so many of them project themselves as something they are not.

Gatti February 27, 2007 at 5:28 pm

That’s the rub with following the “Rules” type books. If you have to put on some sort of phoney, or at least subdued personality to get a guy interested, then, assumedly, you have to keep that personality going to keep him. I don’t think I would have the energy or interest to do that. And what would it signify? That someone only likes you when you act like what you’re not? Then I wouldn’t want to be with that sort of person.

The more time I spend talking and being with the man I’ve got, the more I realize what a special person he is and how so very lucky I am to have found him. After some years of surpressing my personality to try to please someone else, it is absolute heaven to be able to be myself and to be accepted and loved for it.

Aggressively Single February 27, 2007 at 8:24 pm

I am not a man-basher (I really like men!!), and I’ve actually had great success with on-line dating, but darn it all, the last guy started out with such a bang – exactly like LA describes, and although I tried hard not to pay attention to the wonderful things he was saying and the future times together he projected, i couldn’t altogether. I’m only human, and hopeful.

I did feel pretty let down when he was just able to let all that go, right when it started to sound good. And I called him on it. I told him he should show a little restraint and not say all those things until he was a little more sure, because it hurts a lot of women. I don’t think he’d given any thought at all to the effect his words had, he just said whatever he felt at the moment. And ultimately, he withdrew because he didn’t feel I reciprocated his feelings, partly because I didn’t jump on his “wow we’re so great together” and projecting-the-future bandwagon.

I think women may understand better the affect our words and actions have. But don’t you think we should tell these guys, gently and without bitterness (“giving grace” as Goddess calls it!), that their premature vision of a future together can cause unecessary pain?

Aggressively Single February 27, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Dear Mitsy, you’re spending so much time and energy on a guy you had ONE date with. That’s a lot of energy going in a negative direction! Why not listen to Goddess – she is the voice of experience!

We all want you to find happiness, you seem like a very nice person. You deserve someone special, but I despair of your ever meeting anyone until you make a few changes. You gotta adjust your attitude – YOUR attitude, not all the guys you meet who all seem to be awful from your description.

None of us are perfect, and it’s very painful to take a personal inventory and accept responsibility for things that happen to us, that we bring about. And make changes were necessary. No pain no gain, right? Gatti, you are such a gentle voice of wisdom here, I wish I had your soft diplomatic style, it’s no doubt one of the qualities that drew this new great guy to you!

I don’t know how many dates those who don’t like on-line dating have had, but if you only have a few and expect a lot from them, I don’t think that’s realistic. My best girlfriend always had the best dating attitude – a lot like DG – and her philosophy was fo “fill the funnel”. If you’re looking for someone special, maybe you need to meet 20 or 30 or 40 guys to find one or two who click. Put 25 into the funnel, have the right attitude, and eventually a good one will come out the other end. And in the mean time, just date to have fun! Expect to meet nice people. And you will!

Strblonde February 28, 2007 at 5:30 am

That is why it is good to take LOTS of time before dating again. One question though, yes, my divorce was 16 yrs ago and I have long since moved on from him, but how do you NOT explain some things that happened in a marriage when it so directly impacted who you are today and your children? I am talking about behaviorial problems on his part and now one of my children seems to have followed in his footsteps to an even worse degree. I also know that I linger on trying to figure out what happened in relationships gone wrong. For some of them I am sure it is as you say, “we wanted different things.” You are right there — enough said!

Strblonde February 28, 2007 at 6:04 am

Same thing here. I felt extremely let-down and deeply disappointed. Seems like when I finally jumped on his bandwagon is when he jumped off. Of course he’s using the excuse that he had ALWAYS said he planned to move to Alaska, just not this soon. I mean, what do you make of a guy who is moving 10,000 miles away from his kids (he is already 5,000 miles away)? Now I find out his 8-yr-old needs heart surgery. Can a guy like this really have feelings at all? I am glad we can commiserate here because it can save us from commiserating with future dates. I wish I could invite you all to my 360 page.

Mitsy February 28, 2007 at 9:15 am

All I can say is “easier said than done”.

Dating Goddess February 28, 2007 at 9:51 am

StrBlonde:

You ask, “I mean, what do you make of a guy who is moving 10,000 miles away from his kids (he is already 5,000 miles away)? Now I find out his 8-yr-old needs heart surgery. Can a guy like this really have feelings at all? ”

What do I make of someone like this? I make that he has very different values and priorities than you do. So it’s good he’s gone. Now let him go mentally and allow someone wonderful to fill the void in your thoughts and energy. There’s no room for a new guy.

Gatti February 28, 2007 at 9:59 am

I can say that it’s not necessarily easy to move on but such a relief when you do! I was with a man for four years, most of the time crumbling under his verbal abuse. Why didn’t I leave? Well, my self esteem was in the cellar. Then I did and what a relief! And then there was a free place for someone kinder and better for me to come into my life.

About a year before I met the abuser, I had a very short but intense thing with a guy who sent me the “have a nice life” email after our first weekend together. I fell to pieces and held on to my anger and need for revenge for a very long time, much longer than the actual “relationship”, which only lasted about a month or so. I made a lot of silly decisions based on the belief that I could get him back. But there was never any hope of that. Wasted, wasted time.

Anyway, I will never let someone rock me like that again. And I will not and have not sought revenge in any other situation since. It just keeps you locked in one place.

Strblonde February 28, 2007 at 11:23 am

Yes, I will. Thank you.

NYSharon February 28, 2007 at 11:50 am

Good advice again. I never talk about the past unless it is very pertenent to the subject at hand or if I want to get accross a need I have that wasn’t met in a former relationship.
Guess what, the “slacker” called from out out of the blue after a week and a half to see what I was doing Sat night. He was suprised to hear from me that I started seeing someone else in the three weeks it took for him to ask me out again. I also mentioned to him politely that I didn’t appreciate being treated like “one step up from a booty call”. He told me out right that he could never give me more, and with that I said, “then I guess you shouldn’t call me again”. Boy, DG, did that feel good.

Gatti February 28, 2007 at 1:37 pm

Good for you, Sharon! We are all much too fine to allow ourselves to be treated poorly like that.

trixie67 February 28, 2007 at 3:37 pm

great idea. I had a market stall on the weekend, and despite Dick Cheney’s visit to the suburb causing traffic chaos, one goal was to purge the belongings of ex boyfriends, ex evil flatmates & all the unwanted things.

buyers relished the idea of purchasing these items, like they were helping out too.

Doug February 28, 2007 at 4:56 pm

I agree – once they’re gone, get their stuff in a box and get them out of sight. Leave the negativity behind. However, I usually find that, after the decompression period, I like to put their pics back up. They were all important people in our lives at one time and those memories are often something that’s worth holding on to. I’m all for ‘moving day’ but it’s not a bad thing to remember that we once had a reason to spend time with someone–and that reason, for a time, was love.

Elizabeth February 28, 2007 at 7:58 pm

I say Amen. When it is time to let go we let go … and though often we need a kick in the pants to let go of the final chord … we should all be relieved to know that when we are READY to move on we will … there are no rules that are right for everyone. DG’s advice is true … when we haven’t let go of past relationship hurts we unwittingly or not carry them into a new relationship … and that new relationship will be colored and skewed by the past unresolved hurts. But you know what? So what? Maybe we need to go through a few more failed attempts to get to the point where we see for ourselves how our own baggage is hindering our ability to find joy, connection and yes, love. Everything happens in its own time … in its own way … for its own reasons. Sometimes, we just need to relax into the journey and realize bumps and bruises are there for a reason … and they do all heal … in time.

Kat Wilder February 28, 2007 at 9:27 pm

DG, it is very important to move on, and I love what Doug says, and it’s something we so often forget — that he or she was once someone we loved, and even though it ended differently than we thought it would at the beginning, it’s nice to acknowledge what “we” had for however brief a time.

When I’m on a date with a man who bad-mouths a former wife or lover, I am very, very cautious with him. Why? Because he’s looking to put all the blame on the other, and not taking responsibility for his part in it. Doesn’t it take two to tango, er, create a bad dynamic?

I enjoy your columns and viewpoint a lot. 😉

Gatti March 1, 2007 at 1:39 am

He’s told everyone, I’ve told everyone. Yup, it’s great.

Gatti March 1, 2007 at 4:19 am

Oh, and another thing. People are saying to both of us (without having heard about this relationship), “You’re looking really good!”. So being happy is definitely good for your face!

Laura March 1, 2007 at 11:59 am

My last boyfriend didn’t tell anyone about me. FOR TWO YEARS. Well I learned that lesson the hard way. If they aren’t at least mentioning you after you become somewhat serious, I think there’s a huge problem.

Aggressively Single March 1, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Bittersweet question. Last guy did talk about me to his friends excitedly, because he thought this could be something really special. And later he used as a reference, “but this is the kind of relationship you talk to your friends about!!” I had no idea this was really that signicant, and I’m afraid trivialized it. since I talk to my friends and family about most of the guys I meet. I didn’t realize men were so very different in this area, and this helps me to understand just how special this was. Thanks DG!!

Gatti, you are so cute – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Aggressively Single March 1, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Love this post!!! We tend to share our struggles and disappointments here, nice to focus back on the positive. I was just thinking how wonderful some of the men I’ve met have been, and how blown away I’ve been by their caring and concern.

One, while waiting for me to finish getting ready for our date, of his own accord got a snow shovel out of my garage and proceeded to shovel my front walk for me. Another, on our 2nd date, brought over some special light bulbs he thought would look good in one of my light fixtures. How sweet was that! Another took me out to every single night club in our little town just so I could see what they’re all like, and insisted on paying every cover charge even though we only stayed a few minutes. And he really doesn’t like nightclubs! Another insisted on cooking me dinner at my house on my first day on a new job (even though he doesn’t like to cook!) and packed up enough leftovers to last me through the week, because he knew I’d be tired. This same guy now won’t let me pay for ANYTHING, because he knows things are tight right now. Another wonderful man used my sink, left abruptly and came back moments later with tools to fix the faucet. These are such guy things to do, and they were all so sweet to take the time. I’ve been overwhelmed with how nice people can be.

There are a lot of great people out there, I say let’s forget and move on from the few bad ones and meet more great ones!

Julie Smart March 2, 2007 at 12:24 am

This is great! Thanks for letting me know about it! I hate giving my number out to guys I’m just considering dating!! Now, if they turn out to be freaks, I just play “number not in service”…this is too cool!

Jim the tech consultant March 2, 2007 at 4:12 am

A truly anonymous service is provided by http://www.jangl.com/ I talked to these guys at CES and it looks pretty good. It is designed for the dating scene.

Jim the tech consultant March 2, 2007 at 4:20 am

Skype has three different call scenarios: (1) Skpye software on a PC to Skype software on another PC – this is free no matter how long the conversation. (2) Skype software on a PC to a dial number. Depending on where you are in the world and where you are calling there are different rates. One good deal is you can call from a PC in the US to any number in the US for as long as you want for $30/yr (yes, per year) (3) Dial calls to skype software on a PC – you get to choose where the telephone number is. NOTE: At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, I saw a lot of Skype phones that do not need a PC to work, just an internet connection. They should be on the market in the next six months or so.

Mitsy March 2, 2007 at 7:14 am

Wow, AS, I have never encountered that many good guys from online. Nope, I can’t say that any put themselves out as much as some of your guys did. So, what happened with them all? Did any lead to 3rd or 4th dates???

Aggressively Single March 2, 2007 at 9:22 am

I do feel very fortunate, Mitsy. I dated 2 of them for 9 weeks each (the magic make-or-break time frame), broke up because my needs weren’t being met (I was a little too much of a princess, honestly), and am now seeing both again, part friends part let’s see what happens when the pressure is off. 2 of the others I am still friends with, would consider dating again in the future. I feel some of my good luck was a reward for having the strength to end my marriage and begin building a new life. Who knows….

Kat Wilder March 2, 2007 at 10:47 am

It seems kinda cool but … why would you want to give our your number to someone you’re so unsure about? Why not get his number? Or use e-mail (and everyone should have a separate e-mail address that isn’t your “real” one).

And why can’t someone have the balls to say, “Even though I enjoy your company, I don’t think we’re a good fit in the long run. But I wish you lots of luck?”

Just curious ….

Dating Goddess March 2, 2007 at 10:56 am

Kat:

Even if you call him, if you don’t have your caller ID blocked, he can get your number. And of course you wouldn’t call or give your number to anyone you weren’t interested in getting to know better, or who you thought was a wacko. But people can seem nice and normal at first, then their mask comes off as you get to know them. And you may discover after the first few calls or even dates that they are a card short of a deck and it would be best to not have contact. Some guys — and I’m lucky to not have given my number to any like this — will continue to call even after you’ve told them to stop. So this is an extra security measure.

LA March 2, 2007 at 11:48 am

Seems like foolishness to me. Why agree to meet with someone you are not really interested in and