Reflections and resolutions

Happy new yearThis is the time of year we look back at what we’ve learned and accomplished and look forward with plans for what we want to improve. Here are my dating reflections and resolutions.

Reflections — dating lessons learned in ’06

  • While my dating quantity has slowed, my quality has improved. I continue to meet some wonderful men and enjoy their acquaintance. Some have become romantic dalliances, others valued friends, while some are just a fleeting memory.
  • While I believe in giving people grace and realize some men are nervous in first dates, I’ve also learned to notice how your date treats you and how you feel around him. If you don’t feel great on the first few dates, it probably won’t get better, as people are usually on their best behavior in early encounters.
  • As hard as it is, work to not build up expectations before meeting a guy. It is easy to be blinded by his great characteristics over the phone and email. It is what happens face-to-face that matters most. I would not have been as surprised by Rocket Man‘s fizzling if I hadn’t had such high hopes for him.
  • Have the class to “break up” clearly, even if only after a date or two. If you aren’t drawn to him, let him know gently in an email or phone conversation that you want to be friends. If you just disappear, you are stooping to the behavior women often complain men do. When I’ve let someone just drift away, I’ve not been proud of my own behavior.
  • If you have parted amicably, allow him to come back in your life if you’d like. He may now be a treasured friend, or perhaps the time is better to see if you both want to rekindle your connection. Dreamboat recently reentered my life and when he gets back from abroad this week we are going to see if there is the spark that we felt before he started travelling extensively several months ago.
  • Go into any potential relationship with your eyes and heart open. If you are not blinded by what you think you see and are willing to look at the good and the bad, you’ll make a more informed decision whether to continue. And an open heart does mean it might be bruised or even broken, but a closed heart does not allow for any possibilities.


  • I will be even more discerning with whom I agree to even a coffee date. Once you have met someone face-to-face, I believe you have an obligation to be clear with him where you stand when you decide it isn’t a match. So if I know there is no way I could see us together, then why toy with his emotions and waste both of your time? While I believe in broadening your parameters for a potential suitor, if you know there’s no way you’d be interested in someone like him, why even start the process?
  • I will clarify expectations and make my desires known — especially before spending a weekend together. I should have asked specific questions before agreeing to a weekend with Golf Addict. Frankly, before this I wouldn’t have imagined I needed to ask some of the questions that now I wish I had.
  • If something isn’t working, say so in the moment, or soon afterward. Don’t suffer in silence. I know I let Golf Addict hang himself by his self-absorption, but if I care about the relationship, I will speak up about what is bothersome.

What are your dating resolutions for ’07?

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5 responses to “Reflections and resolutions”

  1. Gatti Avatar

    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.

  2. Bruce Daley Avatar

    My resolution is to become a world class date.

  3. Dating Goddess Avatar

    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.


  4. ER Avatar

    (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.



  5. Dating Goddess Avatar


    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.