All posts by Ms. Windowshopper

Some of my friends may call me the chronically single one. But really I've dated quite a few people and had my share of serious relationships. Nothing has really stuck for good yet, but the right one could always be around that next corner. In the mean time, I love my single life. No, I am not the "Samantha" of the group (for those who are not Sex and the City fans, check out Samantha here) I just have a higher bar for being in a relationship. That being said, I've got plenty of stories from 10 years of dating post-college. So, never fear for those of you who feel like you have been around the block a few (many) times - I hear you and I will represent!

Cat Woman

So, at one time, Cat Woman was a cool, sexy villainess who was always outsmarting Batman. Maybe she was a bad pussy cat from time to time, but you have to agree that she was hot and someone you would want to know more about.

But, sometime between then and now, having anything to do with a cat has become the curse of death for a woman’s dating life. Yes, my friends, Ms. Window Shopper has a cat.

Yeah, yeah, I hear what you are saying, “Well, now I understand why you are single. You have a cat!”

That’s what doesn’t make sense to me.

Yes, I agree that there is a stigma of the crazy cat lady who potters around alone in her big house with 12 cats and never interacts with the outside world. She’s boring, she’s obsessed with her cats, and she doesn’t know how to be social.

But, there is a big difference between having one cat in an apartment in the middle of the city and the crazy cat lady. Nevertheless, the stigma endures and men seem to go running when they find out I have a cat.

Case in point, I was out with Ms Potted Plant and her then love interest, Mr. Geek the fourth. Mr Geek the fourth brought along one of his friends. We will call him Mr. Cat-hater. When Ms Potted Plant informed Mr. Cat-hater that I owned a cat, the flood gates opened. Mr. Cat-hater spent the next 40 minutes insulting women who owned cats. He threw out the statistic that if there were 10 women he could date and only 1 had a cat, he’d date all other 9 – no matter how attractive the cat owner was – before even considering dating the woman with the cat. He probably would never date the woman with the cat even if she was the last woman on earth (yes, I asked him this). And no, he wasn’t allergic….

Note, Mr. Cat-hater had never met me before, and I did not indicate that I was interested him in the least. I just wanted to have a fun evening out at the bars and be left alone. But he continued bringing up the subject – bar after bar after bar – until I just had to leave….

And so I ask, what is this fear of a woman with a cat? I would argue that owning a cat might indicate some positive connotations about a woman…

  1. She is responsible. You have to keep another being alive, so you have to be relatively responsible, right? Bodes well if you are looking for the future mother of your children …but even if you aren’t, it probably means that she isn’t a total flake.
  2. She is caring. Most women who get cats do so because they want some sort of companionship. And so, they have the capacity to care for something besides themselves. Probably the same story for a woman who has a dog – and yet, they don’t have the same stigma, do they?
  3. She has a more flexible schedule. Definitely it is more flexible than a woman with a dog… In fact, I think many women choose to get a cat as a pet, because it allows them to keep their active social schedule while having a pet.

And I would argue that it is pretty clear as soon as you meet me that I am a far cry from the crazy cat lady. I have only one cat. I have a good group of friends here and in other parts of the country. I am out most nights on the weekend with friends and many during the week. I often travel to visit friends and to see interesting things. I have regular volunteer activities as well as many outdoor interests including hiking, running, rock climbing, snowboarding, etc.

But, my point is not to necessarily convince you about myself, but to argue for all those other great women out there who might have a cat, but who are great catches. Don’t dismiss them.

I say we bring back Cat Woman as the cool (even if a little mis-guided at times), interesting woman. She’s hot, she’s sexy, and she’s smart– what more could you want?

Until our next date,

Ms. WS

I want to break up with dating!

Strange way to start only my 2nd blog, right… I hear you asking, “You do know you agreed to blog on, right Ms. WS?” Yes, yes, I know. But, dating does get old when you’ve done it for 10 or 15 years, right?

So what’s my point then?

I’m saying it to put it out there, because I know a lot of people feel this way from time to time. I have to take breaks –because I’ve just gotten out of a relationship and I need some time before I jump back in…because, after awhile, too many first dates get draining and discouraging…. because it seems like all the guys I am interested in are somehow not right and all the guys I’m not interested in are the ones that are available. Yes, I get tired of dating.

And, maybe it’s the ugly truth about dating and I shouldn’t say it, but it’s true…

And whenever I finally admit that I’m ready to break up with dating, that’s when the advice usually starts. There are those well meaning people who say to me, “you must just be doing the wrong things”? Easy to say when you have been married since college or met your significant other on a drunken club night when you were 24….

Then they say,” well maybe if you take a break and stop looking, the right person will show up.” If everyone did that, how would anyone ever start dating? And does that really happen? I know just as many women who were on a mission to meet their husband, and they did.

And then finally, they throw up their hands and say to me, “Just keep at it. It will happen for you too.”

So, where does Ms Window Shopper go from here? When dating seems like a waste of time? When it seems the universe is shouting at the top of the lungs “GIVE UP?”

First, I remember to stop getting hung up on “the things they say”. Don’t get me wrong. I think it is very helpful to share your dating successes, failures and frustrations with others – you’ll go crazy if you don’t. But I know I’ll also go crazy if I let myself get carried away with every little piece of advice and dating “theory” that is hurled my way.

Second, I remind myself of what is great about dating. 3 things usually work for me:

(1) Watching movies with happy relationship endings – the classics– Jerry Maguire, Singles, Reality Bites – or maybe a more recent one – Juno.

(2) Hanging out with that perfect couple – you all know one. That couple that when you watch them interact, it reminds you not to settle for just any old relationship _ or not relationship at all.

(3) Going out and forcing myself to talk to people in informal situations. Unfortunately this is usually in a bar, but the formality of a first date can sometimes be the reason I am in a rut. Break out of it and remember dating is sometimes a crazy, loony crapshoot that you can’t truly plan.

So, maybe I won’t break up with dating – maybe I won’t even take a break. Maybe I just have to remember that even though sometimes it sucks, other times it’s the best thing ever….

Until our next date,

Ms. WS

20s vs 30s

So I thought I would start my blog by looking back @ the “20s.” Since we mentioned (or maybe we didn”t but you”ll soon learn) that we are all 30-somethings trying to make our way in the crazy Bay Area dating world, my blogging compatriots and I can all at least vaguely remember dating in our 20s.

But, just to make sure I wasn”t representing it incorrectly, I asked the 20s kids @ work. I didn”t spend my 20s in the Bay Area, so I thought, “maybe it”s different here for a 24 year old?” And they said….well, they said pretty much nothing…

At first I was frustrated, and I asked them again and a slightly different question to try to elicite a result. And then I realized that their answer (or non-answer) was exactly what I was looking for. These are smart kids – if they had something to say they would say it very eloquently. But, when I was 24, I didn”t think about dating either. It was just something I did – or didn”t do…Pretty much without any forethought or afterthought.

It was often a whirlwind and also often fun, I have to admit. The high and lows were all a little manic – a relationship could be going well one week and then totally forgotten the next. There was always the next thing to move on to – whether is was a new partner, dating again, or getting back to the single life.

And then my 30s hit…

My friends started getting married, buying houses, settling in, and – eek! – having kids. It”s all good, and I was so happy to see my friends find what they were looking for. But at the same time, I felt impending dread. Dating that used to be so fun had such import – whether I really wanted it to or not. It all had meaning and was burdened with thoughts of the future.

Okay, so are you depressed now? Well, that isn”t my purpose with this first post. Dating in my 30s did look dismal @ the beginning of my 30s, but I slowly started to discover the reality of dating in my 30s.

—-Yes, I am saying “reality.” I promised in my profile that I would be real, and I won”t disappoint.— So I agree it”s not all roses and soul mates, but it is also not the scary, unhappy, frantic experience it might be portrayed elsewhere as. So, why do I like dating in my 30s?

I don”t bother pretending that I”m someone else and that”s okay.

No, I am not going to say “I know myself better.” That”s a little schmaltzy and also a life-long journey. But, in my 20s, I often tried to be whoever the guy I was dating wanted. Now, at least I know who I am not, and I feel pretty comfortable putting that out there for whoever I am dating.

I feel totally empowered to say NO to the bull@$*%.

Perspective from dating in my 20s has taught me that the BS is rarely worth it. I”m not saying that working at a good relationship is bad. But if he gives me the run-around constantly, I”m pretty clear that the relationship isn”t going to work in the long run.

I know to be careful but not too careful.

I”ve had enough experience to know what is going to freak out a potential partner or date unintentionally – and by now, it”s pretty easy to avoid those pitfalls. On the other hand, I also know what my true colors are and I let those show.

Basically, I can quickly get through the shenanigans and understand if there is potential with someone sooner. It”s not that it is all about cutting to the chase, but it is about not banging my head against the wall. and it is about avoiding the frustration of doing the same thing over and over.

So, dating in your 30s is about understanding yourself a little more and what you want a little more…. And that”s better than the shot in the dark dating in your 20s was. And for the rest of the parts of dating that we all aren”t totally sure about, that what this blog is for. We”ll follow this crazy road together…

Until our next date,

Ms. WS