Romance Is A Game Best Played On A Level Playing Field-Lessons Learned

Curtains rise, lights up full center stage spotlight on The Wild Mind who is dressed in tight  jeans, flattering trendy top, pumps with stilletto heels, hair perfectly coifed and make up on.  Cue happy music playing softly in the background.  The Wild Mind addresses the audience.

I am really grateful that now there is complete closure not just with The Beau, but the I.J. (Yes, we had a “conversation” also in the last two weeks.  I haven’t written about it because it was a little sad and I’ve been too busy writing and doing other things). 

beerhandsmallDating is a different world now in Post-40 World than it was in Post-20 World.  Okay, if it is still the same world it was back then, then I’ve been dealt a new hand and the cards suck in this one.  Furthermore, when I was younger, I had more time to regroup the losses both emotionally and financially, I am not so young and not so cavalier about the consequences of poor choices.

I now know that one’s choice of a marital or romantic partner can affect your life forever, even long after they leave the scene. datinggumswap

It’s a high stakes game and I’m betting all or nothing on the best possibility for relationship, not just something that’s good enough or nice enough because I’m tired of being alone.

I am emotionally free from wondering if , maybe, when, how, what if anything will happen with The Beau or anyone else that is not knocking down my door or heating up my phone to connect with me.  I just know it won’t happen for me with someone who is merely lukewarm.

Even if it doesn’t work out with the Old Flame and The Beau, what’s he going to do? Come back and knock on my door and say, “Hey, you’re the lucky first runner up. Old Flame couldn’t fullfil her pageant responsibilities. Want to give it a go?”

Thanks, but that’s not exactly how I see my fairy tale playing out. I don’t know how exactly how I do see it playing out, but I’m fairly certain that scenario is not on the list.

So, to take The Beau’s and many of my readers’ and friends’ advice and especially my sister’s (she’ll so love this!)  I’m going to use this last episode with The Beau as  more than just an experience to do some creative writing.  I’m going to use it as an experience to reflect and further clarify for myself where I’m at and how I’m doing.  Let’s see if I can do it in 10 points or less.  Here we go.

The Points (not in any particular order):

  1. One’s choice of marital or romantic partner can affect the quality of the rest of your life.  This is true on a minor scale with those you date.  Choose wisely.
  2. The Wild Mind’s Love Philosophy still holds:  When a man is into a woman there is no doubt: he knows, she knows and there is no obstacle too great to overcome in order to make it happen.  He’ll find any way he can to get into her life, heart and, yes, pants.  This includes picking up the phone and calling her or driving distances to see her.  He won’t mind.  He’ll actually want to do it.
  3. Some people out there in Dating World are completely unavailable but they masquerade as completely available.  Do not believe this until proven. 
  4. Emotional availability is proven by scaling tall obstacles or great distances unasked and without hesitation or groaning.  It is also demonstrated a million other very creative ways all of which, every man knows capably how to execute, but won’t, unless you are the one he wants to be available for. If he’s not willing to prove availability in these ways, he’s just not that into you.
  5. Pay attention and trust your gut.  Read point Number 2 and if you experience doubts then he’s just not that into being into you. 😀 Move on now.  Don’t waste any more time.
  6. Men play just as many games as women.  Don’t deny it.  Some of these games are: “I Want Sex, But I’m Not Available For Any Serious Relationship, I’d Just Like To Make You Think I Am”, “I’m Bored With Nothing Better To Do, Come (yes, pun intended) Entertain Me”, “I’ll Play With You Till Something Better Comes Along” “I’m Completely Unavailable But Can’t Admit It”,and the final version, “Let’s Pretend” where he wants to pretend he’s really available so he can get sex or he’ll pretend he’s really into you even convincing himself he might be in hopes you will give him sex. The “Let’s Pretend” game is also played by those men who are hoping to get their mind off their own pain/loss/whatever for a while or by men who are married and won’t leave but can’t stay either.
  7. Women, do not go near these games!  If you do, you do so at your own peril.  Do not play the If…Maybe…What If?…Game. If you find out you are involved somehow in one of these games, get out yesterday. Don’t look back.  You deserve better.  You will also feel better.  Take charge of your health, get out now!pirates_of_the_caribbean_015 
  8. Being alone is still better than being in a relationship that is just okay or where you wonder all the time if he’s really all that into you.  Stop the wonder.  He’s not.  Move on. (I so need to remember this one myself!)
  9. My Prince Charming (or Adventurous Pirate) is out there and some day, if and when we meet, I will be ready and willing for the raping/pillaging and plundering to ensue.  (Okay…or for him to sweep me up on his magnificent steed time and time again until we are exhausted, then we’ll ride happily into the future together.) 😀
  10. Painting ceilings without a sprayer sucks.  Don’t ever do it. Next time, I’m buying beer and pizza and putting an ad on Craigslist that reads, “Free beer and pizza in exchange for painting help!” It’ll be a lot more fun.

Lights out. Curtain falls.

The End, Yes, Finally, The End!!!!

Hypothetical (Ha! Ha!) Dating Dilemma #453

So…..what’s the right thing to do here?  Is there more than one right answer?  I’ll set the parameters, but read on and decide for yourself what you might do in this particular situation.

What do you do if you are dating/seeing someone (whatever they call it these days)…not “officially” in a relationship…whatever that means, but seeing them pretty regularly several times a week?  They are not seeing anyone else, you are reasonably sure.  You have not been seeing anyone else, but not because you’re all that into the person you are seeing.  You just haven’t seen anyone else, just because.  (It could be for any reason that you are not seeing anyone else but not for the reason that you are really, really into the person you are seeing, because you are not.  No matter how hard you try, no matter how great you realize they are…and they are great…you just don’t “feel it”.)

So, it appears to be an exclusive situtation on the outside (to everyone else, maybe even to one of you), but it isn’t.  At least, there’s been no real discussion about that or about feelings for each other or what not.

There’s been no discussion (does there need to be?) about the direction things might be going, but we all know things can’t stay in a holding pattern forever.  Things haven’t really moved forward for about 4 weeks now. Do they need to? Should they?

You enjoy being with the person, they really are wonderful and kind and enjoyable to be around, but you’re really in the end just not that into them…at least…not in the way you need to be in order to be something more significant than very, very good friends.

You know it probably isn’t going to mature into something more from your end, but the other person is really, really into you.

What do you do? 

Have a talk and tell them straight up how you feel? 

Chill, say nothing till they bring it up and keep seeing them? 

Chill, say nothing and stop seeing them?

Begin phasing out your contact with them?

Some other approach?

What would you do if you were in this predicament?  Have you ever been in this predicament?  How did you handle it?

7 Things Men Can Do To Get Out of Her Inbox and Into Her Life

Alright guys.  Here’s the deal.  Every woman is different, just like every one of you are.  However, there are certain broad generalities that can get you noticed in Online Dating World and move you out of the inbox and onto the dinner table or up to the dinner table. 

I can’t tell you how to score that one night stand with the hottie administrative assistant in the marketing department.  I can’t tell you how to really wow that young 22-year-old hottie who has yet to earn her bachelor’s degree let alone know what she wants to be when she grows up.  I basically can’t tell you how to deal with any woman who isn’t grown up enough or sure enough about what she wants in life to tell you straight up what she wants or needs instead of playing mindless head games rooted in indecision and insecurity.  You guys are savvy enough at that already. 

If all you want is the head game that feels good momentarily then skip over this post.  This post is not for you because you already know how to attract the woman you are looking for and seem to want/need.  Have fun with that.  Someday, you will grow up, you will recognize the toll life and time and aging take on your mind, emotions, and physique( I mean, seriously, they didn’t invent Viagra for women, now did they?)  and you might become weary of the thrill of  forever getting  naked with strangers.  If so, there’s a slight chance something I have to say here might be something useful.  If not, click away to another equally useless blog. No offense taken. It’s what we do here.

These are just my thoughts. They aren’t presented in any particular hierarchical order.  There is no research to back them up as strategies that really work in helping you to reach “benchmark” in romance land. They are just general ways men behave toward me that I found very endearing and which created a desire in me to want to well, okay, moving on…

1.  Write an actual email message to her (if you are in online world).  Avoid flirts or cut and paste messages.  These usually get the “delete all” click.  In that message, introduce yourself simply, but don’t belabor the point that you love to shoot pool, hunt moose and spit off the back deck.  If you word your introductory message to her “nicely” (as opposed to “Hey Baby,wanna have hot rampant monkey sex then get to know each other?” or simply “Hey!”) she will check your profile out.  You should have listed all that stuff in your profile anyway.  If she’s into Harley’s and you have a picture of you on your Harley (again, in the profile and not the message), then it will probably be a go.  It sounds a bit like you “need” the Harley too much in order to be successful  if you say, “I have a Harley and would love to have you riding on the back of it. Wanna go for a ride?” in your first message to her. It also sounds like you’re more interested in the ride than her.  If that’s true, never let her know it.  We have ways of finding these things out anyway. 

Here’s an actual email I got that I think was one of the best.  In the subject line it said simply, “Had to write”.  The message, “You have my exact list of interests! LOL!”  He had a great picture, which I later found out was really a recent one of him (not more than a year and a half old).  It piqued my curiosity so I clicked over to his profile and he was right.  But that leads me to point number two:

2.  Present a well written profile.  You don’t need to be wordy.  You don’t need to be ultra creative.  You don’t even have to use big words (although for the thinking woman, it does score points if you use big words correctly and in context). Just spell the words correctly.  It doesn’t say a whole lot for your manly competence if you misspell simple four letter words. If you mishandle the most basic of written communication (the introductory message) then we’ll wonder what else you’ll mishandle and move on.  Trust me, if you write a complete sentence with a capital at the beginning and punctuation at the end and the words spelled correctly, you’ll be noticed.  If she doesn’t like it, better you know early on.  When the fire’s over and you’re sitting there staring at her over coffee wondering what meaningful conversation you could say that isn’t about her Prada handbag or the new stillettos she just bought, or the fact that she needs to get her nails done, you’ll wish you’d written a better profile.

The guy I mentioned above with the short but sweet introduction wrote a profile that rocked.  I could tell he was not just bright but brilliant and he wrote humor well.  I not only enjoyed reading his profile for the entertainment value, I enjoyed learning about the personality behind the print.

3.  Be considerate and tell the truth!  The dating world is no place for disrespectful, rude behavior or falsehood.  If she doesn’t respond to you after the first time, you might, if you must, try another polite query, but don’t go stalking her asking if she’s having any luck or accusing her of being a stuck up bitch because she’s beautiful and didn’t reply to your initial query letter.  (Yes, I did have this happen to me more than once or twice.) This is why they developed the block feature on many of these sites.  Also, remember, that no answer is an answer.  It’s no.  Accept it.  Move on. 

If you smoke, say so.  If you don’t want kids, say so.  I’ve met so many men who marked the no smoking category only to find out that they do smoke a cigar regularly after dinner or whatever.  I know some people think cigars and pipes don’t count.  Sorry, uh, let me explain that one to the four little truth monitors living in my home.  Smoking is smoking regardless.  Just disclose early.  If you disclose later it feels a bit like a trick and then the trust issue becomes a big issue.  Not a good way to start something out, is it?

P.S. On some sites, you have to pay to respond but you can list your profile without paying.  I did this several places and got loads of dates without ever having to respond once. In fact, my first significant relationship after divorce started this way.  The guys who were smart enough to guess that the reason I might not be responding was because I wasn’t a paying member and who gave me their email in a format such as ” crotchrocket at the smiley face place” were the people I knew were smart enought to spend some time with over coffee.  And I did.  And I liked it every time.  Now that I’ve given out that secret that particular screen for intelligence is no longer valid, however.

4.  After you’ve started communication and you want to move to the next level of phone call or meeting put it out there.  My golden rule here is: Ask for what you want.  I do not mean asking her to do the nasty with you either.  Plenty of time to ask for that later.  If you’d like to meet her for coffee or cocktails say, “I’d love it if we could meet for coffee this week. Does that sound good to you?” If she says yes, then suggest a time and a place and let her counter if it doesn’t work for her.  Don’t worry that what you suggest might be wrong.  If you are both thinking adults you’ll be able to commincate, in spite of the intense passion you are feeling over the nets, and you’ll come to some sort of agreement.  If she’s busy it might take a few exchanges to work something out, but don’t get all bent out of shape if it isn’t exactly the easiest deal at first.  This is called negotiating the differences and it is how mature, respectful couples make their marriages last.  Well, at least that’s what I’ve heard.  On the flip side, one big turn off for me is when the guy says, “Hey, here’s my number.  When you’re free, give me a call.”  That indicates to me that he’s not really willing to work through the minor schedule crap with me and if he can’t even handle that little act of negotiation he’ll completely come unglued when we have to negotiate how to spend our money and time together.  No thanks.  I never call.

5.  Once you’ve met and you’ve decided she’s as hot or hotter in the real world than she is in digital world (and you’ve ascertained that she is indeed who she says she is, single,  has all her original body parts, well, mostly anyway) and you want to see her again, say so.  It’s easy.  You just simply say, “I’ve really enjoyed meeting you.  I’ve had a lot of fun and would like to see you again. Would you be interested in going out to dinner next weekend?”  Try to keep the drool from dripping too rapidly from your mouth to the table and, really, don’t spit on her.  You can then set up a time and a place to get together again, using information she gave you in your conversation.  Make sure you put the details out there and do the intial effort of setting it up.  Don’t leave the arrangement making to her until you’re in a more stable relationship together.  Even then, don’t leave all the plan making to her.  One guy I dated refused to actually make the arrangements for the first date.  He asked me out, then played the “What Do You Want To Do?” game.  That’s not a good game to play with me because I’ll try just about anything once and for a first date I really had no preferences.  Plus, I think it is important to figure out if a guy can make a decision or if I’m going to have to always do the relational work.  He was attractive enough so I set everything up.  Big mistake. He then “forgot” his wallet and I ended up paying.  By that time, I’m thinking if I dated him long term I’d be adding another child to my household instead of  joining forces with a competent adult companion.

6.  When you go out, do make sure you have your wallet and you pay. It’s just a really nice thing to do and we think you are really into us when you do it.

7.  It is okay to follow up afterward with an email or a call afterward expressing again how much you enjoyed being with her.  I once got a dozen long stemmed red roses delivered to me at work the next day.  That was pretty impressive!  It didn’t change the fact that I just didn’t think the two of us were a good fit, but it did impress me about his character and his willingness to do what it took to let a woman know how he felt. 

There’s my top seven. 

What have I left out?

Dating Strategies: How Do They Do This?!

Get this.  This came across my desk today…okay…well not really across my desk and clearly not today, but I thought I’d put this out there and see what people thought.

Here’s the deal.  About six or seven months ago, well, more like a year, I met the acquaintance of this man.  I met him online, he was very nice, we corresponded for a bit, I could see he was intelligent and a fairly reflective person so we corresponded for a bit.  I knew he probably wasn’t going to be anyone I’d be serious with but he was definitely good friend material.  He felt the same way.  We met, we talked and the friendship naturally faded as our lives took us apart.  One thing he said, and others have also said to me haunts me.

He said this, “I like to date more than one woman at a time.”

Okay. Fine.  I think.

I’ve also heard women say the same thing.  It sounds like this: “I’m not going to stop dating or seeing other people until Mr. So-and-So (which means the favorite of the people she’s dating) decides he wants an exclusive relationship with me. 

My question is this…and maybe I should have asked it of my friends…but at what point does one know that he/she (meaning the person you are dating) wants to have an exclusive relationship with you.  Is it when he kisses you?  Is after a certain number of dates? What?  Is there a conversation that you are supposed to have? And, if you are the person dating this person who feels it is okay to date more than one person at a time how on earth are you to know if you are one of one or one of many?  Do you even broach the subject?  Do you not? 

It just seems to me that dating more than one person at a time is difficult unless you are serial dating and not making it to the second, third or fourth date with any of them.  On the other hand, what if you met a couple of people that you liked, didn’t know either of them well enough to be able to say I want or don’t want to invest here and they both continued asking you out again and again.  Well, obviously that was stated from the female perspective. 

What if you are male?  At what point do you quit dating around and change to dating only one? Do you discuss it with the intended one or do you just do it and hope she’s on the same page?

For me, here’s what I think would be weird: if you were going out with several guys at once and you happened to run into one of them (or their friends) while you were out with one of the others.

Awkward! 

What do you all think?  I know people do it, but I just don’t get it.