Romance Is A Game Best Played On A Level Playing Field

gingerbreadbreakup

Opening score fades as curtains rise and lights up on scene set stage right of a small cozy but humble study.  A small desk with laptop computer and comfy but worn office chair, a coffee mug, lamp some papers, pens, neatly arranged are the only props.  The Wild Mind sits in the chair attired only in casual lounge pants and a snugly fitting camisole.  Her hair is in a messy bun and one leg is pulled up onto the large but worn office chair in a yoga-esque fashion.  She begins typing and reading aloud as music fades.

There are a million blogs out there that address the fact that women are confusing, game-playing, bling-seeking, brats who expect men to jump unreasonably through hoops before they’ll give it up.

I propose that men are confusing, game-playing, sex-seeking brats, and some of them want bling and sammiches on top of that.  And, in addition, some of those lovable brats are liars and dishonest, even though they are completely unaware of it.  That’s because they are lying to themselves. 

I  propose there are good reasons for both these conditions to exist. It is called emotional survival and pain aviodance.  It isn’t a great way to do things, but many people, myself included behave this way.  Or they have, maybe, at one time or another. 

Next, while I’ve been villified for villifying those who go silent or who are “just not that into” me and who demonstrate it by going silent, I maintain my stance that when a man is really into a woman, he knows it, she knows it, the world knows it and he will cross distance, time, space (or work very hard to close the distance, time and space) to make it work between them.

Cue image of The Wild Mind with thought cloud above head and image of The Beau inside it. The Wild Mind continues typing.  Images appear on the large screen behind her as she continues reading.

Yes, the Beau.

A brief recap here is in order to bring all two of my readers that I haven’t talked to in a while up to speed. And…mostly for me to sort it all out so I can just move on.

I met The Beau through an online dating site.  The Beau contacted me in October, I believe.  This last October. 

Now, last fall I did a really stupid thing at the end of the summer and signed up on a couple of internet dating sites.  I do not know why I did this.  It was a week or two before school started, I was learning a new job and that time of year is insane for me anyway, so I’m not sure why I did such an idiotic thing when I knew I wasn’t going to have time to breathe, let alone date.  I also knew that I wasn’t really in a great place emotionally to date, since, well, I was still pretty ticked off with the whole going silent phenomenon anyway.  And, while I now see the benefit of going silent, both for the party who goes silent and the one they disappear from, I still think it is the more cowardly approach. More about that later.drink_coffee

So, in October, the Beau contacts me.  We correspond for the usual customary few emails and then got together for coffee.  We liked each other right away and he mentioned he had things to do but he wanted to get together for cocktails later that evening…if we could.  He said he’d call me later.

He went out on more coffee dates with women that day.

I went to a bookstore and bought a book. 

We got together later that same day for cocktails, had a great time.  Truly, with The Beau, we never lacked for conversation, which is a real turn on for me.  I later found we could enjoy those comfortable silences too, a double turn on.

The Beau and I, for some reason or another did not begin dating until December.  It was a miscommunication, a misunderstanding but we didn’t  date, till December.  I was kind of corresponding with someone at that point who was pretty interesting and simply needed to follow that out till he went silent on me after meeting me one time (yeah, ugh).  By December, all that had played out and out of the blue, in response to a post I wrote about being alone on Christmas Eve,  The Beau contacts me, invites me to his family for dinner on Christmas Eve, which I accepted and we really hit it off.wine_glasses

We spent most of the holiday break together. 

Thus began the dating season with The Beau which lasted till roughly late January, early February, where I began sensing that he wasn’t all that into me. 

How did I sense this?  After all that time together (six weeks or so) he still was talking about old flames.  He spoke of his two ex wives without bitterness or regret, but he also mentioned two old flames, which concerned me because of the way, in which he spoke of them.  Girls, you know what I’m saying here.  When a guy talks about another woman in a way that makes you wonder “if she were standing here next to me, would he even be with me?”, you know there’s a problem.

In addition, while he did call me daily, I began to sense that it was more out of a sense of duty rather than desire. He also began taking more time on other friends rather than keeping or making arrangements with me. 

He also continued saying stuff like how impossible the 90 minute distance was, how he’s building a house, I’m entrenched here, how’s this ever going work, yadda yadda.

Finally, after two free weekends, where I drove 90 minutes to be with him, on the third free weekend, when I said nothing about plans he neither invited me up nor offered to come to see me.

So, I surmised that he was not all that into me.  I talked about it with him.  I was right.  He wasn’t all that into me, but he wouldn’t admit that to me.  We decided to go our separate ways, but strangely we kept in touch.

We went out for cocktails one night when he was in town for business and had a great time.

He texted and emailed me occasionally.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was out of town for business, he invited me over for dinner on my way home. I stopped in, he grilled steaks, made a fabulous meal complete with appetizers, salad, martinis, wine, chocolate dipped strawberries (I mean who goes to that trouble if they aren’t interested, right?) and we spent a long fun evening together.  It was VERY fun.  I didn’t spend the night because I had to be back at work (and I wouldn’t have anyway…but he did his level best to convince me to).

That night, with my help, he set up a Facebook account and added me as his first friend.

The next morning his old flame was also added as his friend and she added me which I was suspicious of but I confirmed the add anyway. After all, she lives in Texas and a 90 minute drive to see me was a dealbreaker for us.  What could it hurt?

This last week, he was in Arizona watching spring training games for one of his favorite teams.  This is something he does every year.  Something he invited me to go with him to, which I declined.  After going to the games in Arizona, he flew back to Northern California with his son for a few days before returning home to go out with me last night to see my daughter’s performance.  This was something we’d pre-arranged way back in January.

On Facebook, gotta love it, I notice Old Flame is going to be in Northern California the exact same time The Beau is going to be in Northern California.

Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on there.

atsamsungpropelSo Thursday night, after not hearing from him since the beginning of the week, I texted him saying, “Hey, maybe your plans or thoughts about Saturday night have changed.  If they have, I totally understand, but please let me know, so I know how to plan.”

I get no response.  Not that I was sitting around waiting.  I was busy doing my own thing, but by Friday afternoon, I realized I’d not heard anything from him and I texted him again.  He responded with, “My phone was off, plans are still on for Saturday night.  I’m looking forward to it.”

Saturday night. I’m working backstage at my second oldest’s performance, playing hall monitor for the stage right stairwell.  It absolutely rocked, especially since during several numbers I could sneak up the stairs and with my head about 12 inches above the level of the stage, peek out and see Briggs singing and dancing her heart out.  That was a far better and more close up view of her performance than the matinee when I sat in the second row front and center. But I digress, more about that later, if I can get pics.

While I was working backstage, The Beau was sitting in the audience with my other three children.

After the performance, we presented Briggs with her dozen red roses, took pics and leaving Briggs to do her clean up and staff party, headed back to the house.  Once at my house, I hustled kids off to bed, but I’d tipped off Number 1, that I was probably going to hear some news that was going to be disappointing where The Beau was concerned so she headed off to her room early also.

Cue foreboding musical score.  The Wild Mind speaks directly to her audience.

You know where this is going don’t you?  You, like I, probably knew several paragraphs before this. 

 The Wild Mind freezes in position while lights black out. Curtains fall.

To Be Continued …

How Weird Can It Get? I Don’t Think I Want To Know.

I met him about a year ago.  Wait, I haven’t officially met him yet.  At least, not in person.  I first saw his digital image on one of those,you know, dating sites. 

It was last year and it was early in the year.

We exhanged a few emails, but I was corresponding with a number of other fish at the time, so it didn’t really take off.  Our communications fizzled.  About a month later, he contacted me and I responded and this time we got as far as the phone tag routine before things once again fizzled.

Toward the end of the summer, we once again, picked up our correspondence, got as far this time as talking over the phone and this is where it got interesting.

Things seemed to be going along swimmingly until one day he tells me he’s getting back together with his fiance. 

Great, thanks for telling me there’s a fiance involved!   He didn’t even tell me in person, which is probably okay, he left me a message.  The message said something like, “A new opportunity with my ex-fiance has come up and I just feel I have to explore this.” 

Okay, end of communication where I was concerned.

The next voice message I received from him occurred about two weeks later.  He said things didn’t work out and that he would be interested in getting together with me.

I call him back, but I waited a week or a few days.  I can’t remember exactly.  I just know that by this time I was feeling that he was somewhat unstable so I didn’t call right back.  I think curiosity got the better of me and I did call but it was a pretty delayed response.

We do the phone tag thing again.

A few days later, I get another voice message that is all apologetic saying, “I’m getting married in a couple of weeks.”

WTH!!! 

End of communication for me.  I hear nothing from him for seven months.

This Sunday I get a voice message from him again!  (August was the last time I heard from him.)

Again, he’s apologetic, but says he’s been thinking of me.  “That I’ve been on his mind.”  Things didn’t work out and he wants to take me out for coffee and he hopes I’ll call back. 

I haven’t called back. 

This one sounds really strange to me.  Or at least, a super case of the back and forth break up thing going on. Or is this some weird bizarre pattern that serial dating ax murderers exhibit before they commit their next heinous crime?

I think I’ll keep the dogs, set the house alarm and see about getting ammunition for that Colt .38 Detective Special that I have.

And, I’m not calling him.

What would you advise?

Match Games

I’ve admitted before that I used to be an online dating junkie of sorts.  I was.  Note the use of the past tense here.  Shortly before my divorce was final and for some months after it was final, I decided, out of boredom and curiosity, to find out if dating in 40+ World was as dismal as I’d always thoguht it would be and as horrifying as I heard it was. 

It was both as bad as I thought and the horror stories were real.  I did meet many of what I call NGBs (Nice Guys, But….).  I met many men who were real jerks and after about a year of this exhausting, disappointing and discouraging routine, I gave it up.  That was sometime last summer.  I took my profiles down and cancelled all memberships and took the summer off.

Sometime around August, near the end of August, I decided to put my profile up on a free site, just out of curiosity.  I also put my profile up and paid for one month at my favorite paid dating site (NOT eHarmony –villains!).  I do not know why I did this.  It was just as I was heading back to school for the fall and the worst possible time for me to even think about dating.  Well, I got enough interest from decent people this time around to last me for six more months of something to do besides be alone on the weekends when my kids are at their dads.  During this time I actually had two almost relationships, meaning they started out great and almost took off, but didn’t.   I recently took my profiles down off all sites after The Beau mentioned he wanted to date exclusively.  I was okay with this anyway since I was pretty much tired of the whole  Online Meetup thing anyway.   Now that The Beau made his grand exit, I am not going to go restore my profiles.  At least, I didn’t think I would.

Friday, night, my daughter and I spent the night together.  She had taken a few minutes and was playing with her toys in her room and I was checking out my blog stats and emails  from all three of my admiring fans.  My phone buzzed.  I noted a text from my friend and colleague, a 36 y.o. single mother of two. 

“I just checked my Yahoo account and the father of one of my students is one of my matches,” the text read.

“Cool!” I texted back.  It took me hours to get that much texted. Before I could hit send she pinged me back with “He’s really hot and very nice too.  His son was in my class last year too.” 

“Really, cool.  Here’s one you should check out on Match.”  I told her and gave her the username of someone I knew who I think is totally hot.  Sadly, he lives too far away.  She looked him up and texted me back, “LOL!! He’s got 4 children! Shouldn’t already be out?” 

“Nope.  The kids are the easy part,” I clumsily texted back.  Before I could hit “send” on that message, she was texting me back with “The parent is on Match.  Look up his user.”  She gave me his user and School Dad was indeed cute.  I suggested she get our mutual friend who happens to be this guy’s neighbor to introduce us. 

“LMAO!  Threesome, nice!” she responded. Then she texted me back saying “Oh my you have to go look up ______________!”  and she gave me another user to look up. 

“Why?”  I texted back.

“Because he’s HOT!” she texted me. 

Now, I really did not want to go on Match and begin looking.  I’d only gone there to look at the one profile a friend of mine had asked me to check out for him as he began his dating adventures.  He’s hot!  If he doesn’t get great dates with lots of pretty 30-something’s there is just something wrong with female America.  But still, I was a bit of a junkie and curiosity got the best of me. 

It was at this point I texted her back saying, ” Okay, I’ll play.  But we have to both agree to blog about the experience afterward.”

“Deal” came the lightning fast response.  I pulled up the user name of the guy she gave me and there was a man in his mid 50’s with a mowhawk and tattoos head to toe.  He looked a bit like Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man.  I choked on my wine as his profile loaded.  Surprisingly, the man was very well written and apparently had two degrees in Art and History. 

“Well, the Mohawk guy at least had the sense enough to get someone to write his profile for him,”  I quipped.  I did a quick search for men ages 39-49 in our area.  Sixteen measly pages loaded.  I texted her about it.  “I bet I’ve dated them all too,”  I added. Scrolling quickly through them I noted that I had indeed either dated most of the men or decided against dating them.  I then sent her the name of someone whose picture seriously looked like George Clooney, Jr.  and whose highest age for a match was 42, effectively cancelling me out. 

“He’s way HOT!”  she texted me.  Then she sent me the name of another candidate, once again far too young for me but just right for her.  We went at it like this for about ten minutes with her getting off ten texts to my feeble one.  Then I got a swift idea.  “Hey!”  I texted.  “Give me a random Portland zip code”.  She did.  I searched within 75 miles of the zip code using the same ages I’d used for my local area.  32+ pages loaded.  I groaned.   I texted her my results. 

“LMAO!”  came the reply.

“LMAO?  It’s not funny!  I’m living in the freaking wrong part of the state!”

“ROFLMAO!”  was all she texted back.

I scrolled through about 4 pages of wonderfully available and attractive, professional, well-written, educated, well-adjusted, non-redneck men, just my age and finally just gave up.  It was torture.

A few minutes later, my fun search texting whatever banter with my friend ended as she had to deal with her kids and I, now completely depressed about the likelihood of romance ever striking in my podunk neck of the woods, had to go have fun with my own daughter.

The next morning I got up and, as though possessed by demons, I created a profile on Match, but did not subscribe.  Why did I do this?  Stupid, foolish, woman that I am!

This morning, I checked my email and in less than 24 hours I have 40 views, 7 messages and some number of winks.  I logged on to Match and, of course, since I am not a subscriber I cannot see who emailed me but I can view the profiles of those who simply winked.  I now really like it when men wink!  Match has a design flaw here.  They should let you at least see who messaged you, but not see what they said.  It might make us desperate sorts feel even more desperate and then we’ll part with our hard earned cash and subscribe. 

Not me though.  I’d have to wait till payday anyway and judging from the winks I got, there’s just nothing new in my hometown.   I really am so living in the wrong place right now at least where romance is concerned.  Doesn’t anybody out there listen to something besides the Jugg Sisters and the Stetson Brothers?  Oh, and you’ll love this.  Turns out Mohawk Man, you know, the Illustrated Man, is one of the ones who winked at me.  Wait till my friend gets wind of that!!!!!

Houses or Playgrounds?

Short and to the point: The Beau is no longer “The Beau”.  (Surprise! Surprise!  Gasp!  Does that really surprise anyone? N0.  Didn’t think so.)

Don’t know how to quite explain all the details to myself, except to say that it was a mutual misunderstanding.  I can’t share really how things started declining from his perspective, only from mine, though he’s enlightened me through discussions over the last week.  And he makes some valid, very understandable points.  I only wish he’d shared where he was with all that a month ago when he began feeling that way.

Things with us started off really great.  Had they kept going really great, no doubt, I would not be writing this post.  Now mind you things weren’t going badly…they just kinda weren’t really going like they were before.  Sometime after the second weekend I went up to visit him I noticed a bit of a “pull back” from him.  It was slight and subtle but very, very perceptible to me.  Things like no longer reaching out to hold hands in the car when we went places, no (and I mean absolutely none, where before there had been plenty) physical affection other than a quick good-bye peck at the door as he left or I left.  Things like calling me really late at night after being on the phone with others (who were just friends, yes, but nonetheless female and not me).  Things like a reduction in the number of texts or other contacts in a day, making it feel a bit like he was just making the obligatory once a day phone call.  Things like simply not seeming as interested as he previously was.

Now, The Beau, is not, was not, a bad guy.  Something changed for him…or he saw something that gave him reason to pause.  Nothing at all wrong with that.  In fact, there is quite a bit about me that would give most people pause, not the least of which is 4 kids, a fixer house and a very tight budget and this blog.  I really have a problem with none of that.  It is totally understandable to me.  

We’d been dating about two months and he’s the one that mentioned not dating anyone else and taking off his profile from said dating sites.  I did not bring up this conversation…he did.   I guess I didn’t ask enough questions about what that meant for him.  I guess, maybe, that conversation was premature.  Maybe I misunderstood the seriousness of that kind of behavior.  To me that means, “I really want to focus on you.”  To him, well, I’m still not clear what he intended by even bringing up that conversation, but that’s okay too.  I don’t need to be clear on that.  It just didn’t appear to indicate a single purpose to him quite the same way it did to me or he thought better of it after he did it.  That’s alright too.  I just wish I’d understood all that before I stopped dating the four or five other very fine men, that I stopped seeing to date The Beau exclusively only to have The Beau get cold feet.  (j/k about the 5 guys, disappointed about the cold feet, but aware that it happens and am not losing sleep or wasting tears over it)

I guess the best analogy is this one:  “Are we building a house here or are we building a playground?”  My thinking is that the foundation for either of those endeavors is very different and you can’t exactly change projects midway, without some serious investment or strife or, at least some conversation.  Both of them serve their purpose and are wonderful projects.  Really, I don’t care which one it is, but if he wants the house and I’m thinking playground or vice versa things can and will get weird, misunderstandings happen, communication begins to miss and, well, feelings get hurt.  Further, if  both begin with the understanding that a house is to be built and the other changes what they are building without telling his partner, things can be really messed up and strange. None of that bothers me, it’s called relationship.  This is why human beings were given the gift of speech, so we could address these misunderstandings.  (P.S. I know the analogy is weak and flawed, but it worked for us and it helped us both understand each other better, so I’m going with it.)

I thought he wanted the house (no the house does not equal marriage, LTR or anything other than a mere exclusive dating relationship and the interested behavior to match…there are never ever any guarantees, I know this.  Yes, the playground does equal the non-exclusive, let’s just have fun and be friends casual dating kind of thing).  He probably did want the house for a couple of weeks there, maybe a month, but then had second thoughts and he backed off to the playground project, which is fine with me or maybe he found another house or playground he’d rather explore a bit more.  Only problem was, he didn’t tell me about it.  Well, yes, he did, just not with words.  That’s okay too. I was able to figure it out, pretty accurately without the words. Maybe I’m getting better at reading that nonverbal stuff more accurately. I don’t know. This time hearing the words only confirmed what I already knew several weeks ago was true. 

I guess I just don’t play the game well.  I’d rather have a guy just say “I’m not that into you” than to waste my time pretending he is in an effort to avoid hurting my feelings.  Cowardly as it is, even going silent is a bit more honest than continuing a game that one simply isn’t sure they want to play.  I won’t waste time (and it is a waste of time if  someone is not being completely honest and candid with the other person) spending time being with a person I really like who’s kinda sorta not sure he’s that into me. 

Now, true, it’s not like I’m the only consideration here.  I know that.  I come with a lot of  “baggage”.  I prefer to refer to it as responsibility, but face it, kids, fixer, finances, two ex’s—yuck, it’s just baggage to most people, no matter how neatly folded and tucked away it may be. (That reality does make me very sad sometimes, but I can’t fix any of that, so I just feel sad for a bit, then get up and forge ahead.  I mean really, what are my alternatives?)  He’s got lots to consider before making any serious commitments where I’m concerned, but I am not even remotely talking about that nor was I even remotely expecting it.  I just wondered how come he no longer wanted to hold my hand, be with me as much or he preferred talking to others instead of me.  I’m just talking about enjoying spending time together and it seemed to me that somewhere along the line, that changed for him. It seemed really, like he was no longer as interested in being with me and that I was not as attractive to him anymore.  It changed for me only because it changed for him.  My feelings for him and my attraction to him never dimmed or wavered.  I’m just not willing to be in a place where I feel less than desirable, like I don’t quite do it for him, or where I’m just not all that big of a deal to him. 

So, that’s where it stands.  My understanding has been cleared up about what his intention is and where he stands with me (the words now match the behavior)  and, to be very honest, I’m relieved.  No one enjoys feeling like the person they are with is just not all that excited anymore about being with them. 

So, Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

Brave New Post Marriage Dating World

I have several friends lately who are just newly divorced and starting to think about dating again.  After many years in a marriage, no matter how bad it was, one can really miss the companionship of another adult.  And, yes, one misses the sex too.  Although, in some cases, the sex might have been nonexistent long before the marriage ended or it might have the reason the marriage ended. 

Whatever the situation, many of my now single friends are trying to negotiate this new world that I refer to as “Post 40 World” (even though some of us are not really post-40, all of us feel like it) where we are now single, in our 40’s, not ever wanting to be here at this stage of our lives and with a boatload of responsibilities (aka, baggage).  We try to date, and if our personal worlds don’t bring us near any prospective individuals that we can even consider talking with over coffee, we turn to the online arena.

Online dating has advantages and disadvantages.  It’s been said that in 2006, 1 in 8 married couples met online.  I can only imagine the number has swelled in the last few years. As one who recieved her graduate degree online, and feels fairly comfortable with the way the digital world can expand our ability to connect with those from places we might otherwise only read about in books, online dating doesn’t scare me.  However, I say that, knowing full well, I’ve been very, very fortunate so far.  Those I’ve met have been decent people.  Only one in probably a hundred or so folks have lied about their age and that’s pretty good.  No one, so far, has stalked me, though there have been several that I wished would have.  

Today I received an email from a friend who is just recently and hesitantly venturing out into the world of online dating.  He’s a card carrying member of “Post 40 World”.  Married his true love and when he did so he did it for life but she didn’t have the same agenda.  She’s moved on and now he’s here in “Post 40 World” wondering how to navigate the terrain.  Well, like I’m the world’s greatest expert in this.  Anyone who reads my blogs can tell I struggle with trying to figure out how to do the dating thing when things are so very different than they were when you were in college and had your whole life (and your best body) going for you.  So, I gave my friend some pointers.  Here’s what I said.  Look the advice over and see what you would add:

1. Create an alias and don’t reveal your true identity until after you have met the person in the flesh.  Okay, you can give out your first name, but much other than that, just don’t!  Remember, if they have even your last name they can find out exactly where you live.

2.  Don’t believe the pictures. I’ve been burned and had many friends who’ve been burned by the fake picture. It’s disappionting and a huge waste of emotional time and energy when it happens. Hold everything at arm’s distance until you meet. 

2a.  Be very cautious of someone who doesn’t post any pictures and isn’t willing to send you any.  Be equally cautious of the person who posts a picture that looks airbrushed or like it is of a magazine model.  (It just might be.)

3. Don’t spend a lot of time chatting online.  Exchange a few emails, get to know enough to determine if you would like to meet or not, then meet.  You can create this big fantasy online and then when you meet be completely disappointed and heartbroken.  I’m not sure why this happens, but it does.

4.  Be cautious of the person who after a few tries still finds excuses not to meet or talk on the phone.  I personally hate to talk on the phone, but will do it.  I’d rather just meet. If the person is unwilling to do either, suspect that a.) they are not really interested in a relationship like you are or b.) they are not really female. 

5. Be very suspicious of those who cannot communicate reasonably well in writing.

6. Never entertain further communication from those who ask you for money…it is probably a scam from someone outside the country.

7. Trust your gut (you already know this, I know).  If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

8.  Don’t make a dinner date your first meeting. Something light and casual like coffee or a walk is great.  It can be shortened or lengthened as you feel and you don’t have to endure a long night with a lot of expense if the interest factor just isn’t there.  

9.  Obviously, don’t tell anyone where you live until you’ve checked them out and know they are who they say they are. 

These items are the most salient points I could think of on the fly.  I realize I am pretty inexperienced in this realm, after all, I’ve only been dating for about a year and a half. I’m still evolving in my view of what it is all about. I feel I’ve had a good experiences overall with online dating, but I’ve also been very foolish and very lucky because worse things didn’t happen than did (in other words, it could have been so much worse and you could have read about me in the papers…I’ve really been that fortunate).  I also live in a much smaller area and not a big metro urban area…so, maybe the risks are fewer?  Not sure about that one, but it sounded good.

What else can everyone add to help those out who are trying to find their way in this Brave New Post Marriage Dating World?

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?

If I Doubt, Then He’s Out

Alright.  Enough with my whining and moping, pondering and postulating.  I have been enlightened.  I know for sure how a woman (and I think a man, but I’ll leave that for the men to decide, since I am not one of them and cannot possibly presume to understand what their take might be) can be sure that the “person of the hour” is really that into them. 

I’ve wondered about this and theorized about this both publicly and privately long enough.  From the not getting things quite off the ground to going completely silent after there’s been a great deal of supposed chemistry and intimacy (apparently that was only a one-sided deal), there are a million things that masquerade as a potentially decent relationship but which leave us feeling disappointed, sad, cheated, maybe even foolish for wasting the time in some instances and heartbroken for years  in others. I’ve felt all of these things and more and I’m certain I’m not alone. We wish we would have read the warning signals better or heeded them earlier but at the same time we loved every minute of what we imagined or thought was going on.  Or maybe we didn’t.  Maybe it was all just a miserable attempt to fix something that never was going to work but which somehow pushed our buttons in some weird way and we were drawn in.  Who knows what the deal is or why?  It didn’t work out.  No one likes to leave something they thought was valuable and  heading to the next level feeling cheap, used and invalidated.  I suspect, that is how most of us end up feeling on some level when we finally realize (after we’ve invested our time, money, energy and hearts) that the person of our affections is simply not that into us.  Forget that, it is how I end up feeling and I hate it.  I really would rather avoid that at all costs.  So, I strive to answer the question…how can I know…before it is too late.

I now know. 

At least, for this moment. 

I could change my perspective in ten minutes, but for now, I think I know.

Part of my conclusions come from my readers.  All three, or maybe it is now five of them, who actually comment.  I’m especially indebted to the men who’ve chimed in (I hope you won’t stop chiming) because your perspectives have in every instance confirmed what I already suspected to be the case with men and how they show their affections.  I also know from women who’ve travelled my same path and shared about it.  This would be friends, colleagues, other bloggers, anyone I’ve bumped into, shared coffee with or read who had the guts to tell their story.  They confirm what I suspected all along.  They confirmed what I was afraid to face all along.

My conclusions also come from deep within myself.  They don’t automatically surface from “deep within” because, quite frankly, I’m just not all that in touch with me all the time.  This would explain all the wandering, rambling and cloudy thinking I demonstrate (no really it is not my sub normal IQ at work here).  Deep down, I just know when he’s just not that into me…

Now, I could be wrong…

I’m willing to entertain other perspectives and viewpoints…

I’m willing to consider that hunger….

anger….sadness…anxiety….

fatigue or loneliness…..

 insecurity and fear…

may impair my judgement…but…

I suspect I might be really close on this one…

Ready?

Here’s how I think I know that I can be sure whether or not he’s really that into me:

“If I Doubt, Then He’s Out”

Okay, now I’m not talking about after the first couple of meetings/dates when you’re wondering if things are going to launch.  I’m talking about when you are into the deal and you are still wondering “Where the hell do I stand with this guy?”  The mere wondering is my answer. 

Truth is, we know.  We know what we want.  We want the fire, the passion, the “feelings”, the “chemistry”, the everything…and we want it to be coupled with a compatible relationship that can go the distance.  I want him reaching for my hand in the car instead of me always being the one to reach for his.  I want him to initiate the affection as much as or more than I do.  I prefer the more than I do and that will have to be a lot because I’m a touchy feely sort (well, not weirdly so, I hope).  I’ve had these experiences.  I’ve had guys who were so into me that they were willing to try to make love to me in the clearance sweater bin at Macy’s, but, sadly, I’m simply not that much of an exhibitionist.  I’ve had guys who were so into me that after the very first date with me I received flowers on my desk at work the next day.  No, not one or two pretty orchids in the latest seasonal arrangement of greenery and Baby’s Breath.  I’m talking the 12 long stemmed blood red roses in a vase that communicates in girl world, “Wow!!!!  He’s really into you!!!! Who is this guy?  We didn’t even know you were dating someone! Oh, do tell!”  

Compare this with the situation where everything seems simply “nice”.  The dutiful call every day is made, regular time spent together occurs and is very fun, things seem to be “all systems go” on the surface but in every instance you’re left wondering. Wondering where you stand and if he’s really into you…or…if he’s just biding time…till…gulp…sick feeling in pit of stomach…something “better” (younger maybe?  prettier maybe?  thinner maybe? wealthier maybe? or even worse feeling in pit of stomach just anything maybe? ) comes along.  This isn’t just insecurity kicking in here.  This is real doubt. 

Communication is both a verbal and a nonverbal transaction. When given an option,  people generally believe a person’s actions over their words every time (if the two are in disagreement, that is). Behavior or the lack of it combined with the words, the tone, the hesitations, the silences communicate and don’t communicate volumes.  In any of the cases where men were head over heals for me, I never once for a moment questioned it…even if the relationship got tense at points…even if the relationship was one that I wasn’t that excited about.   Those men who’ve been brave enough to put themselves out there and commented on past posts confirmed my theory (at least enough for my sloppy but very valid research). My conversations with married men who are still in their first marriages and pushing 20 years who absolutely adore their wives, confirm my hunches too.

I think the bottom line is:  When he’s into you, you know and there is absolutely no room for doubt. 

If you don’t absolutely know then, my dear, you really do know…he’s just not that into you.

Whenever  you wonder or doubt, you also know.  If you wonder or doubt what he’s about then he’s not IN to you, he’s OUT there either killing time, considering his options (who wants to be an “option” anyway?) or simply uncertain himself.

For me, no need to waste anymore time wondering past a certain point.   If we’ve been dating for any length of time and I don’t know that he’ll go to any length to  hang the moon in my sky then, guess what?  Hate to say it, you know it’s coming so I’ll skip it.  But, for myself, I know.  I’ll never wonder again.

If I do then the very act of wondering becomes my answer.

How Can A Woman Be Sure?

You know, much has been said about how men and women see the world differently, especially when it comes to dating.  I’m just wondering, since I am female, how I can know for sure that a man is really into me.  I mean, what specific things should I be able to rely on in terms of his behavior, attitudes, words, etc. that let me know he is into me or he is not sure he’s into me or he’s not into me?  Sometimes I think women read things differently than men intend.  I just want to know…how can I tell if he is really interested, or not so much?

Any thoughts?  Guys, please don’t hesitate to respond.  Your words here could be golden.

Online Dating: 10 Things Men Should Definitely NOT Do

Don’t you love all these dating advice sites for guys that are written by guys?  I think they are funny.  Here’s a guy telling another guy what works with women.  What the first guy is really getting from the guy he gets advice from is what works for that guy with the gals he’s meeting or being successful with…doesn’t mean it will work for you…unless what you want is what he’s getting exactly. 

To put it differently, it would be like me going to ask advice about how guys think from a woman.  How the hell will she know???  She’s not one of them.  She might be close.  She might even be right on.  I might even listen to her and take her advice, but not before I check it out with my guy friends.  The ones I know I can trust.  The ones who feel comfortable with me enough to tell it like it is.  These are the guy friends I would never date or become romantically interested in for one of two reasons:  a.) because they are married to my very good girl friends or b.) they would tell me point blank, “Hey, it’s just really hard to get romantic with one of the guys”.

So for all the guys out there, who hope to try to make an impression with a woman online so that you can put yourself at the top of the email pile and maybe even make it into her favorites list, I’ve provided this list of my top ten most reliable behaviors that will get a guy blown off, ignored or deleted.  

I confessed in an earlier post that I was a bit of an online dating junkie.  At one point, I was on, I think, three different sites at one time.  I’ve explored nearly all of the really notable ones, free and paid, for long enough to form a strong opinion about which approaches from men really work and which don’t work at all.  I’m pretty successful in the online forum for reasons that have to do with sincerity, truth and a good picture that really looks like me. Plus, I think it helped that I grew up as a tomboy.  (The Barbie Doll shoes really annoyed me.) I kinda get the mentality of bonding over doing something  instead of  the just talking thing…something most women don’t get but which many men, bless their hearts, endure anyway. 

But I’m talking and not doing, so I’ll cut to the chase.

10 Things You Should NOT Do When Approaching A Woman Online

1.  Don’t be self-absorbed.  Clearly, this should be a no brainer, but I’ve received a ton of emails where the man talks only about himself.  If I don’t know the guy, there’s nothing there to help me connect with him.  What you are thinking is you want to give her information that will help her make an informed decision about you.  Sadly, you’re assuming too much in what it is that she is making her decisions upon. She’s thinking, man if I get into relationship with him am I going to have to put up with him talking about him all the time?  She’ll hit the delete key, send a “thanks but no thanks message” or, worse, she’ll block you.

2.  Don’t treat this online forum as a job interview.   Would you do that at a cocktail party?  Would you start interrogating someone you were attracted to about their past relationships, their preferences for sexual frequency and whether or not they’d be comfortable with you coming up from behind and grabbing them by the boobs in public? (Yes, all these things have happened to me and to other women I know.)

3.  Don’t fall in love too soon.  Dude, until you meet her and date her…a lot of times…or, at least until she tells you otherwise…she is still just a digital image paired with some words.  Don’t go being all smitten and stuff and talking about how gorgeous she is and how you think the two of you were meant to be.  She’s making decisions based upon how you treat her, talk to her and think about her.  If you think she’s an “object” instead of a person, she’ll disappear. Treat her like another human being, not like the beauty you are attracted to.  She’ll become that beauty in your face-to-face life if you can respect her and love her for her mind and her contribution to this world (beyond just the airbrushed or real beauty).

4. Don’t be afraid to be you.  Women are all about relationship.  We want to connect.  We want to connect with those we relate to. If you are trying to be something you are not, we will see through this eventually.  Hopefully, for everyone involved, this happens sooner rather than later, but there are plenty of divorce statistics out there that state otherwise.  If you are a funny, humorous light hearted sort express that.  If you are more serious and thoughtful let that be apparent.  The woman you are hoping to attract will be attracted to the real you.

5. Don’t try to impress her with how many dates you’ve been out on recently.  That might work if you’re trying to impress the guys, but for use female types this simply translates as “we’re just one of many options” you have.  No one wants to be an “option”.  All of us want to be the person you’d slay dragons for.  If you try this approach we will read it as you’ve already decided that “you’re just not that into us”.  We’d be fools or unhealthy to invest in that.

6.  Don’t expect her to do all the work in setting up the first meeting.  Take the bull by the horns.  Suggest something, anything.  It is never okay to make her a.) call you when she’s free or b.) tell you what it is that she wants to do if you’re the one approaching first.  In this area, you must take risks and forge ahead trusting that if she is not okay with it she’ll be decent and kind enough to counter your proposal with another option.  If she kicks you to the curb because you missed on the first idea for a meeting, is that such a bad thing?   After all, if she treats you like that after such a kind gesture, do you want to be in a  relationship where that treatment is the norm?  I mean, really c’mon.  You’re a great guy.  You deserve some respect.

7.  Don’t ask her how successful she’s been in the online dating forum.  This question shows up like this:  “So, having any success here?”  or “So, I bet you have all the guys wanting to meet you!”  First off, we have no idea how to respond to that with kindness.  If we are successful and we tell you that,  what will you think?  (Please note that women, especially ones with good photos and well written profiles…okay…skip the profile…ones with good photos and lots of them…are going to get more mail than they could possilby respond to in a 24-hour period if they worked straight through.) If we tell you honestly that we aren’t having much luck…well…what will you think then?

8.  Don’t give up too easily.  Guys, remember, that many of us are single moms with careers and we might be homeowners in our own right as well.  (Meaning, we bought the friggin’ house ourselves and didn’t get it gifted to us as the result of a divorce settlement, death, or judge’s signature at the expense of some poor man who may have had to claim bankruptcy in order to avoid contempt of court charges.) This requires our time and if we are real people we won’t be able to respond right away all the time.  Kids have concerts, we have lives, houses need to be maintained and we simply need to sleep sometimes.  Be patient.  Don’t assume that because we didn’t respond the first time we didn’t care.  Don’t also assume that if our response is brief that we are just not that into you.  We might have wanted to connect, but the kids were demanding our attention, the account we have to have that big proposal ready for  is meeting with us the next day or the car dropped its rear differential in the street three hours ago and we have no idea how we’re going to get that repair done.  Please cut us some slack. We are willing to make room for you in our busy lives, but not till we know you’re going to be willing to accept our busy lives. Be patient.  I cannot say this enough.

9.  Don’t come on too strong.  I know that sounds strange after what I just wrote, but listen, if you pounce, you’ll suffocate.  You’d run too.  Have fun with it.  Don’t make it the end all most important thing ever.  Relax.  Friendships, relationships, love, is a bit of a dance.  Don’t force, just be the fun you, the thoughtful you, the true you that you are but be very careful of overdoing it.  I might add that if you feel like you are being you and at the same time you feel like you are coming on too strong, maybe you should pull back.  A woman in love can never get enough of her man’s attention or affection and she is always deeply appreciative of it even if she can’t necessarily carve out the time to respond at that exact moment.  If you are feeling weird about things, listen to that.

10.  Dont’ go silent.  Say something.  Understand that women are verbal creatures.  On the playground as kids you guys settled differences by physically laying into each other.  We, girls, learned the “more socially acceptible” method of being catty, using our vocabulary and really learning that words, as well as sticks and stones and fists, can hurt and leave deeper scars.  We also learned that words can create worlds, characters, perceptions and evoke really positive emotion too.  We live and love base on the words you tell us (as long as they match your actions).  Please, don’t just email us and say, “Hey!”.  Don’t email us with tons of pictures of you and your life and no verbal explanation.  Don’t just grunt.  We need to connect with you and we do it with words.  This is never more important than in the online forum where the first meeting is completely textual and verbal.

And I might add, that if you really want to make an impression you should consider what your elementary schoolteachers told you and use good punctuation, capitalization and accurate spelling.  Even if she’s not all that smart, your emails will be easier for her to read and understand.  If she is all that smart, she won’t give you the time of day if you can’t communicate well in writing.  If you find that too tedious, take your chances.  If  you can’t present yourself well in writing, what  makes you think she’s going to think you can present yourself well in person? 

Okay, have fun with that one fans and skeptics alike! I’d really like to hear perspectives that maybe I, in my finite wisdom, have not considered.  Do enlighten me.

In the meantime, enjoy your online dating experience.  It can be frustrating, heartbreaking and disappointing, but it can also be a great way to get to know other people in your world when your world doesn’t allow you to cross their paths in real time.  It can also be a great source for putting yourself in the path of romance.  After all, 1 in 8  married couples in 2006 met online.  I’m sure that statistic has grown since then.

Lying About The Things We Don’t Care About Anyway

I found this one in my travels on the Net this last week.  Wasn’t exactly looking for something about Internet Dating, but when this flashed across my screen the sad (I use that term very loosely) plight of dating in mid-life struck me as completely funny. 

unfortunatetruthaboutdating

Personally, I’d be quite content with the happy medium. You know, not too thin, not too…., just right.  Oh, yeah, and my age or older.  I’m kind of not into the cougar scene, though, from what I hear it definitely has it’s advantages.  I guess, I already have enough kids in my home to take care of.  Ooops!  Did I really say that?

Okay, next funny.  Have you ever had this happen? 

honestyonweb

If you’ve been anywhere for very long in Online Dating World, you’ve had at least one experience where someone misrepresented their age, physical stature or posted a completely false picture.  I had one instance, almost a year ago now, where I hit it off (seemingly) with a guy about a year older than me (supposedly) online.  We had great fun chatting, laughing, talking via phone call and email.  He lived out of town so it was difficult to meet.  Then came the week midwinter last year when I attended a conference in his city.  I figured, that stunningly good-looking as I was and not having to travel very far to meet me, he’d be all over coming to my hotel (hey, paid by for by the company even) to meet me.  The first night I was in town he called and we talked just like I wasn’t in town.  The second night the same thing.  I’m a very patient person but by the third night I was thinking something was up.  So, I gave him the ultimatum.  “Look,” I said, “I’m thinking getting up off your butt and coming down to my hotel to meet me is a far sight better than driving the five hours you’d have to drive to see me otherwise.  So, this is what I’m thinking.  I’m thinking if you aren’t down here in the lobby of the hotel in an hour, I’m going to think you aren’t interested and I’m moving on. ”

He showed, but 30 minutes after the deadline.  I should have walked and not met him, but by that time I was curious and, hey, I was in another town with no laundry, kids, or anything to worry about so I waited.  Oh my gosh.  What a surprise.

He walked in and instantly I figured out why he hesitated to meet me.  The picture he’d posted of himself was probably him…twenty years earlier.  I did end up going for a walk downtown and eating pizza at some no name place.  During this time I had opportunity to notice that he was playing Elvis in his car (not something most people my age do without some seriously good rationale) and his hands did not look like the hands of someone my age.  They looked like the hands of someone 15 years older than me.  Now most people wouldn’t know this maybe, but having grown up with a father who was 28 years older than my mother…I know hands.  His hands were older hands.  Now, I’m currently dating someone who is 11 years older than me, which, to be honest, is the perfect age, in my mind.  (So why would someone want to lie about that?  Men ten years plus older than me are actually quite hot!  I don’t have to change their freaking diapers and wipe their noses or clean up their messes.  Works for me.) Anyway, the dude misrepresented his age then didn’t even come clean about it afterward.  I ate pizza, let him pay, of course.  And never communicated again with him.  Except once.  When I got back home, I looked up his profile.  I noticed he’d changed his location.  I sent him some smart ass comment about misrepresenting his location and his age and asking who he really was.  Obviously, I never heard from him again.

The deal was this about that:  he was attractive enough and very funny and intelligent.  Clearly he didn’t want to meet me, because he wasn’t into something real and he was lying about himself and he knew it.  Here’s what I learned from that:  I’m not really all that concerned about what a guy’s age is (okay, I’m not dating 25-year-olds, no matter what you say) or most of the other externals, but if he lies about any of it, it is such a dealbreaker.  Trust is one of the biggest issues any relationship must develop and maintain if it is going to last. Sadly, when someone lies about their age or anything else, then they’ve eroded the trust from the beginning. I decided at that point that the day I feel like I have to lie about my age or who I am, just to get the company of a date, that’s the day I hang it all up and say, “I’m done.”  Because I may as well be. 

Okay, and, yes, I did get into the guy’s car and drive around a city with a stranger.  Girls, do NOT ever do that.  It turned out okay for me…but…it’s such a stupid chance to take.  I could tell you even worse risks I’ve taken and things have worked out, but I wouldn’t do them again and I shouldn’t have done them to begin with. 

And, guys, especially those of you in the 50+ category, I really have no clue what you are looking for. If you are looking for some young thing to idolize you,  look up to you like a daddy,  and somehow make you forget that you are human and aging like we all do, well, I can’t help you there.  You’re probably doing the right thing going after some 20-something thing who has had no life experience and is pretty much a blank slate.  However, if you’re really into a quality relationship with a woman who wants you and loves you for who you are and will go to the wall for you because she admires, respects, loves and adores who you are as an individual on this earth (as opposed to how much you make, what lifestyle you can provide, and how long you can keep it up) then don’t be ashamed of stating your age and being yourself.  The women of substance out here don’t care about the superficial things…we care about the real, authentic individual behind the text, behind the profile, and hopefully, one day when we meet, we care about the person behind the eyes.  Don’t blow it in advance about lying about the things we don’t care about anyway.