Category Archives: Online Dating

A New App and Site Based on Astrology – Moonit

I was on Nerve.com and met a guy who told me about Moonit. I don’t think the guy was on Nerve to date, though. But anyway…

After giving up on Nerve and months of a seemingly endless number of conversations going nowhere on POF, I decided to check out Moonit.

I’m addicted.

First of all, Moonit is not just for dating. There’s a friendship component as well.

I like that I didn’t have to fill in any questionnaire except my birthday. Birth date is very important, obviously because of the astrology, and year is also important! (I think.)

After you register and upload a picture, you go through pictures of users and either friend or flirt with them. Once the other person accepts, you can read what astrology says about the two of you together. The more connections made, the better idea you get of just how dynamic relationships are. In addition, the more variety of connections you make, the more likely you will get a “badge” for a particular match. Then you can chat with your connections.

It’s all about compatibility. At least that’s the way it seems. Haven’t yet met anyone in person, though I did meet someone on Skype.

That person, who I friended rather than flirted because he is 10 years younger than me (though now I wish I flirted instead), is 96% compatible with me as friends. We Skyped a few days later, and I must say, I think this astrology algorithm might be right on!

There’s an iPhone app for it. Don’t know when or if there will be an Android app, but can’t wait!

If you join, find me I want to see how compatible I am with you DT readers. I’m motorbaby, of course.

Is Your Magic Criteria List Killing Your Online Dating Pool?

If you’ve had a hard time finding true love by scouting in a crowded, smoky bar, maybe you’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you’re still single is because no one you’ve met is good enough.

You’re tired of the bar scene, and you’re ready to try your hand at online dating –  with the theory that you’ll be able to find someone who IS good enough, and fulfills the long list of criteria you’re looking for.

There are some common criteria that men and women use when they start searching the pool of singles in any online dating site, such as:

  • Attraction.  How attractive is attractive enough for you? A “seven”? An “’eight”?
  • Intelligence.  No one wants an unintelligent date who struggles to carry a conversation.
  • Success.  You’re not looking for a married-to-his- or her- career CEO or anything, but you want someone who has something going on, who’s not a dog walker living in Mom’s basement.

You probably even have more specific criteria.  Maybe you’re a woman who only wants a guy who is at least three inches taller than you or practices the same religion as you.  Maybe she absolutely must live within a ten mile radius fit within a very specific age range. Or maybe he or she must be thinking of marriage at some point… Or, not at all.

Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing bad about having standards.  But if you have one rule that says “I’m not interested in matches that aren’t X,” and keep compounding rule after rule after rule, you’re eliminating swarms of potentially interesting dates.  Many of them are people you’d really get along with if you magically ran across them in that crowded bar without knowing whether or not they fit your magical list of ‘good-enough’ criteria.

Even if we just take the three criteria above that singles often use and sample 100 Match.com profiles, chances are the number of people you’ll come back with that will meet your criteria can be counted on one hand.  Of that very limited pool, you then have to find one that you’ll actually click with in real life, and one who’ll like you just as much as you like that person!  And some people wonder why it’s so hard to find love online…

Not only does the other person have to meet your criteria AND like you back, you also have to meet that person’s criteria, which are probably not all that different from yours. You think you’re a dateable person, right?  You’re intelligent, above-average looking, and reasonably successful.  You feel like you’ve got a lot to offer. Unfortunately, just because you’re great doesn’t mean amazing matches will magically find you, especially when you think that none of them are good enough.

Am I telling you to lower your standards?  Absolutely not.  But the bottom line is that you have to cast your net wide if you want to find enough dateable people. You also have to be willing to put yourself out there.  Ladies, are you really going to exclude a handsome, interesting guy because he makes $47k a year instead of $50k?  Would you exclude an interesting and good-looking guy that you met at a bar and really hit it off with just because he’s 5’9” instead of 5’10”?  Of course not!

If you’re using a measuring stick that doesn’t go up or down, be prepared to spend a lot of time sitting in front of your computer searching for your one perfect match while the others are out there dating tons of attractive singles that aren’t perfect, but pretty damn close to it.

The whole point of online dating is to weed through the masses for some people who fulfill your ‘basic’ criteria, so that you can meet them in person and quickly discover whether or not the chemistry is there. That’s it.

Even with a small checklist, online dating can feel like a part-time job if you really want to meet a lot of hot singles in your area. If you’d like an extra hand, you can hire the company Virtual Dating Assistants, and their team can help you lock down some great dates in no time. If you prefer to do it all yourself but would like some killer tips that will give you an unfair advantage over the “competition,” you can check out their Top 10 Online Dating Tips here.

 

emotional REAL estate

Robyn just posted a recent sonogram as her FaceBook photo. I decide to ring her and we meet for an impromptu picnic in the park. Something we both have shirked since I left the firm we sold our souls for. It was high time for some herbal Honest Teas, huge hoagies from Saigon Sandwiches coupled with Sprinkles’ vegan red velvety goodness.

“How’s what’s-his-face?” Her affection for a particular man-in-my-life zeroes in the second we meet up.

“We’re good.” I struggle with the Built NY bags as Robyn smooths the blankets on the still dewy grass.

“Just good? You two were inseparable last time I saw you guys.” She needles. Nothing escapes this woman. Her seventh-sense is always spot-on.

“Eh, you know. Growing pains.” I’m no good when it comes to being nonchalant.

“Hmmm.”

“What’s THAT supposed to mean?” I feign offense. We’re cronies. We’re past pretenses, but it doesn’t hurt to act hurt once in a while. Keeps us from tip-toeing our way through each others’ lives.

“Nothing.” Her eyes dart to the way my fingers fiddle with the loose button on my cardigan. “You know when I met my husband, right?”

“When you went online.” I still have trouble piecing together what she’s driving at.

“Yes AND no.” She pinches my nose playfully. I grimace. She caught me wrinkling it again. Key word. WRINKLE. She has none, and insists it’s because she’s met her soul’s mate. “Yes. I met him online. No, that’s not what I meant.”

I look at her blankly. She giggles. “I mean to say, it’s good that you and what’s-his-face are not so hunky-dory.” She’s resorted to riddles. I sigh. Loudly.

“Engrish. Preez.”

“The day I lost ALL my guy friends, was the day I met MY guy.”

“Huh?” I swipe my pinky against the pseudo cream-cheesy goodness of the vegan cupcake. Robyn’s deciding to slam dairy during her pregnancy still eludes me, but I’m game for trying new ways of tricking my tastebuds into thinking they’re being sated.

“Look, I know you’ve got a ton of buddies that have your back. There’s nothing wrong with your band of bros. I just think it’s great timing for you to concentrate on you moving past [the EX-factor].” She’s chattering really quickly now. I’m certain she’s been dying to get this off her chest. “What’s-his-face is the best of the bunch. I know that. You know that. We all have known this.”

“So what’s your point?” I’m edgy. The cupcake is not cutting it. I reach for a Vietnamese sandwich. Robyn’s usually succinct. It’s not characteristic for her to circumvent conversational shrubbery. I bite down hard into my hoagie. She follows suit. We sit silent for a split second. Then it begins.

“I”m just saying. I’m glad what’s-his-face is giving you room now to meet the man-of-your-dreams.”

“Say what?” I’m puzzled. If memory serves me correctly, a few years back, I couldn’t get Robyn off my back about how my best bud and I were meant to be Plato’s picture perfect definition of soulmates.

“Emotional space.” Prompt replies are Robyn’s forte. “It’s prime relationship real estate. Own it. Stop letting what’s-his-face lease it with 0% APR.”

We both sip our teas in silence. Staring at the boats slide lazily across the Bay.

Online, huh?”

“Yep.”

“Should I let what’s-his-face know?” My best bud balked the last time we spoke of my perusing internet dating. That particular conversation is partially to blame for the “[emotional] space between.”

“You’re no longer renting, hon.” I know this. “It’s time to buy.”

Get responses online

Meeting people online has its issues, but they are not impossible to deal with. You need tactics, as if you were an online pickup artist.

I met my boyfriend, Jason, on plentyoffish.com. I swore to myself it would be the last dating site I would ever join. Since I was still working on my book, and writing about personality types based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I decided to test myself. I wanted to see if I could find my perfect personality match through a person’s online profile.

Of course, I had to know about personality matching. I had read Dr. Alex Avila’s LoveTypes book. I learned my type, ENTP, aka “The Innovator,” is romantically compatible with ENTJ, aka “The General.”

It’s difficult to order a book, read it, and put it into practice in a matter of a few days. So, I’ll try to give a bared down tip…

  • Think about 3 things about your mind/life that are distinct to you compared to other people you know. For example, for me: 1. I dislike set schedules; 2. I love to be silly; 3. I’m very analytical and have to think to know my feelings.
  • Next, go to the dating site, and as you peruse people’s profiles, look for things that jump out at you that you think or know would work with you. For example, I know for myself it has always helped me to have someone in my life who was better at living by a schedule than me; so, in that sense I look for my opposite. Plus, since I’m analytical, smart people interest me. Funny, ’cause the initial impression of Jason’s photo was, “This guy is arrogant!” Sure enough, he’s arrogant because he’s smart–and I like him that way.
  • When you find something distinct about the person you can relate to, write a message that caters to that distinction without getting too personal. For me, I realized that Jason likes to debate. So, in my first message, I challenged him on his profile’s headline.

    Note: The more attention you pay to details, the more a person senses genuineness. For example, if a girl writes something like, “I love to go out for good food…” Don’t just write, “What kind of food?” Dig deeper. Assume “good food” is the difference between dining on the Baja peninsula and Taco Bell. Instead you could say something like, “Have you been to the Bistro on Main Street?” or whatever; you get the point, I hope.

In the meantime, check out Avila’s LoveTypes book. For a generalization on what that’s about, you can also read Parts IV and V in my AlphaDog book, also available on Kindle.

Good luck!

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This post was inspired by @YouWishYouWere on Twitter.

Sexting

Myself being a follower of proper work ethic, I once had an affair with my co-worker.  Possessing the typical spine-tingling bravado attributed to all things generally looked down upon, this affair in nearly every way was stereotypical:  Secret, awkward, and sexual.  However, one basic difference separated this affair from your typical make-out-in-the-backroom-and-behind-closed-doors deal.  This was an affair done solely through the phenomenon that is text messaging.

Like all liaisons, my flirtation started innocently enough: A playful trading of numbers during a shared lunch break (we both  happened to adore Baja Fresh) to see who could text whom faster.  We worked in a rather large chain bookstore in Santa Monica, and let me tell you– us booksellers are nerdy and bored, bored people.  We found the simplest of things amusing.   How was I to know that a simple G-rated text such as “Hi I can text faster than you” would, a week later, lead to the soft-core porn of “I want to bend you over and fuck you hard”?  (Imagine getting this message while driving away from an eight-hour work day and you can see that the thrill of a text message liaison can, at times, far out do the thrill of a real affair—danger involved alone.)

After all, I only texted the guy.  In our era of avoidance, text messaging is the ultimate vehicle for communication and evasion.   Hell, it’s even safer than instant messaging online.  With the internet being people’s second homes, getting someone’s screen-name involves a near knowledge or trust of the person.  Screenname means friendship… or the possibility of one.  (You could, after all, block the person or always have an away message up.)  And don’t even get me started on Facebook… once you are Facebook friends with someone they might as well be one of your drinking buddies, unless you are really diligent about what particular photos you display.  Today, nearly everyone has a cell phone.  Giving out your cell number is no biggie.  And neither is texting.  It’s just another part of our obsession with communication without really communicating.

The beauty and secret lure of the text message is that you never have to acknowledge it.  Coworker and I could be working the same shift, texting one another the most flirtatious (later, dirty) of sentences and act perfectly natural around one another.  This was a reticent rule.  The text message world we visited outside of work could never be visited while we habited our bookstore or were within view of one another.   This way, we never, ever had to face up to what we were doing.  Our cellular connection took us to a world without consequences.

For a time.

Like the liaison itself, the breaking of the rules also started relatively innocently.  One night, as I lay down under faded purple plaid sheets dressed in my favorite college-days pajamas (an over-sized Winnie the Poo nightshirt) my cell made the familiar gurgle of exclamation that had already started to bring a smile on my face.  I knew who it would be.  Secretly I checked my suggestive text, and there was Coworker’s newest and latest “Long and hard or soft and gentle?”  I giggled and looked around, ashamed.  I didn’t tal like that, not with anyone else.  (And certainly not since.)  Yet, as my blush lessened, I suddenly felt free… wild.  Nobody could see!  Nobody could hear.  The only mood music was my roommate’s breathing.  With a sly grin, I texted him back.  We proceeded to have the strangest version of phone sex I have ever had.  My thumbs had calluses.

The next day, a customer wearing a bikini top came in and asked for a book on anal sex. (No.)  Coworker was stacking the ever-popular Men Are From Mars books near me.  I looked up and caught Coworker’s eye.  He winked.  I blushed.  We connected.

And suddenly our connection wasn’t so technological anymore.

Swiftly, a text message about how we should copulate standing up would come to mind when a customer told me they couldn’t reach a book in the C++ section.   Coworker started to bend the unspoken (and even un-texted) rule by texting me about how cute I looked in my skirt.  Pleased, I replied that he looked cute in his metrosexual way—he is still the only man I know who can pull off pink and tight jeans.

Yet our flirtation brought with its fling and fantasy, a problem.  The more we texted, the more we flirted, the more I liked Coworker.  It had started to become something other than sexual, something other than cellular.

I took the ever-bending line of our decorum and straight up broke it about a month in when I texted Coworker about something non-sexual while working.  I asked him about his ex-girlfriend with whom he had a dinner date that night after work.  Coworker was wearing a nice green plaid shirt; he looked good.  I didn’t want to admit it, but I was jealous.

While text messaging is just a bunch of letters showing up on your cell phone screen, the words can convey emotions.  I could feel the shock in his in reply to my text “Nervous about dinner tonight?”  Where was the sexual innuendo (“I’d do you for dinner” for example)?  Where was the flirtation?  This sounded needy.  This sounded…

Real.

“A little,” he replied.  “Surprised you asked.”

I opened a Dummies Guide To BBQ and hid my cell phone between recipes for grilling sauce as I replied, “Just interested.  Curious.”  I paused, watched as a customer across the store chose a book on Labradors.  “Do you still like her?”  I bit my lips and hit send.  My heart was beating as I put the Dummies book back in its place, and hid my cell back in my nametag.  The thrill of the forbidden (cell phones on the floor are a strict no-no) was overcome by the worry as to his reply.

My phone buzzed.  “Maybe.”  A few seconds later, just as I could feel a customer approaching (we develop a second sense for you guys):  “Yes.”

Suddenly, text messaging wasn’t so thrilling anymore.  It was painful.  Just like a real crush.  Holding back tears, I helped a nervous old lady who smelled like bad fish find Angelina Ballerina for her six-year-old granddaughter.  I then proceeded to lock myself in the backroom closet and cry.  Somehow, even through the barrier of wires and screens and bad connections, my heart had still managed to get hurt.

The next night a group of us went out to a late night dinner at Denny’s.  Coworker and I did not—could not—look one another in the eye.  I spent most of the time being passive aggressive and ignoring him.  He spent most of the time hitting on a lesbian in front of her girlfriend.  Both of us engaged in futile efforts of fun rather than facing the predicament: my obvious upset.

There is constant talk in our media today about how the internet requires new laws to control the freedom of communication it promotes—freedom of speech, freedom of downloading, freedom of porn, whatever.  But the internet, while breaking boundaries, can also create them.  Its wires can tangle up a heart just as easily as any “maybe I’ll call” from a guy or a wink from that foxy lady down the street.  When is that ever brought up?  We don’t discuss, not seriously, at least, how the medium of electronic media—be it my cell phone or even the internet—affects day to day human interaction.  Sure, we joke at a party that we spend more time on AIM than we do doing homework, we brag to our gal pals about how we Facebook stalked whatever cute guy caught our fancy and made the mistake of telling us his last name, or the casual study is released on CNN about how children need to spend more time in the park than watching the boob tube.  But what about us adults and our relationships?  Online dating is becoming more and more popular.  One of my friends is now living with a woman he met on Ok Cupid; and I now know two married couples who met on eHarmony.  So while technology has certainly helped the lonely and more socially inept, I do believe it can cause a whole new form of awkwardness.  Nobody “talks on the phone” anymore, none of us use up our minutes.  Now when we sign up for phone plans what matters is not unlimited daytime minutes, but unlimited texts.  And I know now that I am not the only one who flirts, dear heavens, conducts full blown relationship communication, with her cell.

And there’s the catch.  In the end, reality hits.  Sure, kids spend “too much time” watching television or playing with their Wii or whatnot.  But they are, thank God (or Zeus or whomever), forced to eventually go to school, grow up, talk to fellow geeks (and I write that with love).  I was—and so was Coworker—eventually forced to have real human interaction and feelings.  What the digital media does is simply put it off for a while.  But not forever.  In the end, pesky human need and curiosity always peeks over the fence, reaching through the wires and over the keyboard for a fellow human hand.

There Are Worse Things I Could Do

“There are worse things I could do,
Than go with a boy or two.
Even though the neighborhood thinks I’m trashy,
And no good,
I suppose it could be true,
But there are worse things I could do.

I could flirt with all the guys,
Smile at them and bat my eyes.
Press against them when we dance,
Make them think they stand a chance,
Then refuse to see it through.
That’s a thing I’d never do.

I could stay home every night,
Wait around for Mr. Right.
Take cold showers every day,
And throw my life away,
On a dream that won’t come true.

I could hurt someone like me,
Out of spite or jealousy.
I dont steal and I dont lie,
But I can feel and I can cry.
A fact I’ll bet you never knew.
But to cry in front of you,
That’s the worse thing I could do.”

Yes, I apparently like to start off blog entries with songs, and I’m going to refer to other songs throughout this post so be prepared!  “Yes, our teeth & ambitions are bared.  Be prepared!”  See?

I recently took a “Which Female Grease Character Are You?” quiz on Facebook and my result was *drumroll* Rizzo.  I actually wasn’t surprised.  I also took a “Which Sex & the City Character Are You?” quiz and got Samantha Jones.  Also not surprising.  I’ve always identified the most with the female character who has the most sex because they’re also usually the most confident, outspoken, uninhibited, and daring.  But they’re also the most misjudged.

What word comes to mind when you think of these characters?  Floozies?  Players?  Manizers?  Dare I say it – Whores?

I think that Rizzo gets a bad rap in Grease.  She’s known as the “town bicycle” who messes around with all the neighborhood boys.  She’s sexually experienced at a time when the innocence of Sandra Dee is celebrated.  I think that Samantha is the more socially accepted sexually-empowered woman of the two.  She’s “try-sexual” (she’ll try anything sexual), makes just as much money as the men in her field, and also plays that field quite well or even better.  Yet stuck at the back of everyone’s minds is still the notion that women who enjoy sex or tend to have multiple partners (in Samantha’s case, she is not relationship-centric) are emotionally unstable, easy, or cootie-magnets.

Why should you be emotionally unstable if you don’t want to be in a committed relationship but still want to enjoy sex?  Why should you be considered easy when you have a one-night stand (and it takes TWO to tango, so your partner is equally as guilty)?  Why should you be viewed as a cootie-magnet if you are smart about your sexual encounters and use protection and get regular STI screenings?  Why is it that you’re considered less classy than, say, a Charlotte York or a Sandra Dee just because you like to get jiggy?

Compare your initial thoughts of Rizzo & Samantha Jones to these male characters:  Casanova.  James Bond.  Both men are sexually promiscuous, but they’re considered legends & heroes.  What’s the deal?

Sing it, Christina Aguilera:

“If you look back in history 
It’s a common double standard of society 
The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score 
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore.”

Break it down, Lil’ Kim:

“Check it – Here’s something I just can’t understand 
If the guy have three girls, then he’s the man 
He can either give us some head, sex her off 

If the girl do the same, then she’s a whore.”

Ugh.  Sick, sick, sick.  I hate that double standard.

I will admit it: I enjoy sex.  In fact, I like it a lot.  I’m uninhibited and adventurous in bed.  I’ve had a fair amount of sexual partners but not an exorbitant amount.  But I’m not a whore.  While I’ve engaged in the occasional one-night stand, I do prefer to have my sex within the confines of a monogamous relationship.  I feel that it builds trust and passion for a partner, not to mention that it’s safer in more ways than one.  But I even enjoy it while I’m single and casually dating because: 1) I like it & 2) I am smart about it.

Which brings me to my most recent sexual encounter.  I hit it off something great with this guy whom I met online.  We exchanged several e-mails, had several phone conversations, and then went out on a date.  He seemed like a serious and genuine guy, and I could tell that he was totally digging me.  I was really liking him so, contrary to the usual Kristine who rips off men-she-like’s shirts with reckless abandon, I was trying to keep my pants on.   I’m a cheap date in that it doesn’t take much alcohol for me to feel a buzz, but I never try to be a CHEAP date.  Then…Oops.  My bad.  I had one too many rum & cokes and ended up sleeping with him on the first night.  Damnit, Kristine.  Didn’t I say to keep it in your pants so as not to give off the wrong impression?  But he seemed like he genuinely still liked me even after we started to get down.  Mid-sex, he said, “Can we go out on a ‘real’ date after this one?  I’d like to get to know you and not just in the biblical sense.”  I love how “real” date means not-involving-drinking & not-involving-sex, but it was nice to know that he wanted to see me again.  And then he also asked me, “What do you want out of this?” which was really awkward as he was mid-thrust.  Let’s say I didn’t quite know how to respond, so I did not respond at all (Sorry, I had to throw in a little double entendre action in there).  However, in my profile and during our phone conversations I had stated that I was looking for a serious relationship, so I thought that my lack of coherent answer was covered at the moment.  Despite a pleasant morning-after, he never called me back nor did he respond to a text I’d later sent him.  We had also been chatting via instant message online, and he was not responding to my various attempts at conversation.  I saved myself a bit of pride by not directly calling him on the phone since I’d done a little bit of cyber-stalking by checking to see when he’d last been on the dating site.  Four days after the deed and his profile read “Activity within 24 Hours.”  It appears he’d moved on to someone who was “more serious about relationships” and probably deleted that message I’d sent him on the dating site.  Fail.  Date fail.

But this is where it gets annoying.  Men seem to think that just because I like to have fun early on that I cannot be serious.  Look: I’m of the mind that you should test drive a vehicle before you buy it.  And everyone’s got different requirements for horsepower and performance.  My Prius could be your SUV.  So for me, it sometimes gets hard to date people, especially when things get sexual.  I could spend 4 great non-sexual dates with you and then on the 5th date find out that we’re completely sexually incompatible.  And it’s not wrong to have sexual compatibility as a requirement for a successful relationship.

Then I’ve gone on a few dates with people where our personalities click and then we hit the sack and all hell breaks loose because they can’t seem to trust me based on the kind of sex we’re having.  I’ve been asked (mid-sex, mind you…yes, I engage in a lot of mid-sex conversations) “You seem like you have done a lot of this.  Are you sure you’ve only slept with (Insert Number Here) amount of people?”  “Uhm, you seem like you are having way too much fun.  Are you sure you’re clean?”  (I had a guy get up and leave during the middle of sex because he was afraid I was “unclean.”  What am I?  A prostitute in Gomorrah?  And dude, you’ve already put it in me.  Did you feel a vagina dentata down there or something?)  “You are a bit too much for me.  I had a different impression of you than this.”  (So apparently I look like a missionary as opposed to a reverse cowgirl.  It must be the glasses.)  Wham, bam, thank-you ma’am.  And I don’t get a phone call the next day, which completely boggles my mind despite the fact that I KNOW they were having fun during the act.  I actually got an answer from a guy who went MIA who told me that he didn’t trust me or what kind of person I was based on our sexual encounter.  REALLY?  You’re judging me because I’m uninhibited/not what you thought I’d be like in bed?

I think that women should be able to have sex as often as they want and in the way that they want and when they want, just as any person should, without the fear of stigma — as long as they’re smart about it.  Yet the fact still remains that woman have to deal with more consequences than men.  We’re the ones who are more likely to get the STI while men are more likely to transmit it without experiencing any symptoms.  We’re the ones who are left to hold our breaths every month and be glad that our period came.  We’re usually the ones who wonder why that great guy ditched us, which causes us to doubt our actions and ourselves.  It seems like we get twice the amount of responsibility but half the amount of the fun that men do when it comes to sex.

I know that people say that you should give off a good impression by keeping it in your pants until Date # (Insert Number Here).  I know that people say that you should keep an element of mystery about you and prolong the time between dates to (Insert Number Here) days.  But I was never one of those people.  I like to be straightforward and direct.  If I like you, I like you.  If I want to do you, I’ll do you.  If I seem interesting to you, then you’ll continue to be excited by me no matter how many times we go out or how many times we have sex.  If you want to see me, you will make it happen.  I would like to think that you know enough of my personality and what type of woman I am to know that I can be trusted and should be respected.  But don’t hold the fact that I don’t play the traditional dating game against me.  Or the fact that I like walking around with no pants.  I can only be myself.

There are worse things I could do.

What Means the World To You?

Diamond rings?  Shiny things?

What means the world to you?  

Religion?  Sex?  Politics?

What means the world to you? 

Height, humor, honesty?  

What means the world to you?  

Ladies (Ho!)  Fellas (Ow!)

After sifting through about a million different online profiles, I start to wonder if my standards are set too high.  I’ve got an account on Match because my friends tell me that my standards were set too low from having surfed the free personals listings on Craigslist.  After going out with many a mardy bum date and recently escaping a failed long-term relationship, my gal pals told me that I should quit with the Craigslist and actually invest some money into a dating account.  After all, the people on there are paying to find someone, which I guess means that they can at least afford an account? 

Well, the BFF’s personally approved my profile, which of course is quite verbose and somewhat scary to read for the male looking to casually date.  (Monogamy?  A serious relationship?  What?)  But at the same time it’s good because it shows people who I am, who I’m ideally looking for, and weeds out the deadbeats who aren’t up for the challenge that is me.  And, boy, am I a challenge.  Especially as of late.  LoL

*ahem*

Oh, I forgot to introduce myself.  Hello, everyone!  My name is Kristine.  I’m looking for love…hopefully in all the right places.  As I’ve already exhausted the bar scene, school, church, & I don’t believe in office dating (too complicated!), I decided that I should start looking for love online.  I’ve always been a person who’s been open to new types of things ever since a pivotal (and somewhat depressing) religion class in high school told me that I could basically marry hundreds of different people out in the world and the only thing limiting me was location.  As the Internet has no bounds, I decided that I’d find those hundreds of people and pick the best-looking one.  (j/k…I’m not that superficial!)

But last night, I had this amazing phone conversation with this guy who was pretty much exactly like me.  I went to look back at his profile to commit it to my memory bank when I saw that he was looking for someone either “Agnostic, Atheist, Spiritual but Not Religious.”  I consider myself to be in the last category, but I was born into and raised in a Catholic household.  However, when I got to college, I started discovering other religions and stopped going to church.  I rediscovered my spirituality on a more personal level and *badabing badaboom* here I am now.  So while I no longer believe in organized religion per se, and I am totally down with people believing in what they want to believe, I wonder if this could ever really work in the long-run.  Would he constantly nitpick at me for believing in a Higher Power if he didn’t believe in one himself?  What if I rediscovered my faith roots and decided to start practicing my Catholic religion again?  What if I wanted to get married in the Catholic church in order to appease my aging parents (who are really gung-ho about it) and my partner wouldn’t convert?  What if I wanted to raise my kids with different world religions so they could pick and choose their set of beliefs instead of being bound by one sect of faith and he wasn’t cool with religion at all?

That’s when I had to tell myself to slow down.  I’m not marrying this guy yet.  Let’s just take it slow and see how it goes.  But it’s a hot button issue that I’d need to bring up with him later…like, oh say, Date # 5.

But this incident also led me to think about a failed set-up date and how important it is to me that my lifestyle also matches that of my would-be partner.  Now, I’ve been a little bit of a lush as of late.  I won’t lie.  I enjoy my Long Islands (with cherry garnish, please!).  And I have this problem with my cell phone and drunk-dialing and drunk-texting random people.  *sigh*  I should have already learned after years and years of this that having my phone near me while inebriated is never good, but old dogs don’t seem to learn new tricks.  

Well, apparently, non-thinking Kristine went and drunk-dialed this one guy off Match.  We had set up a date for later in the week.  After stupidly handing off the phone to my also drunk friends and have them say some random things to him (Why did you cut your hair?  Kristine likes long hair!  Don’t kidnap her!  Do we need to equip her with LoJack?  Why do you laugh a lot?  You sound a little too happy!), he was sufficiently creeped out to tell me that we sounded drunk.  And he doesn’t drink anymore as he used to be too into the drinking and drugs since he was 14 (which made my then incoherent mind explode and feel really horrible), and he had a gut feeling that we wouldn’t exactly get along as I sounded like I liked to have too much fun and he was recently clean.  Dating set-back!  Haven’t even met and a date has already been cancelled…though I can’t really blame him after those antics.  And I mean, gosh, how could I have known that he had previously been an alcoholic unless you verbally state that in your profile?  But it made me realize that I needed to find someone who enjoys a cocktail or two (well, drinking within your limits) so that we could go to sports bars and get a bit rowdy when the Pacquaio fights were on.  And how similar lifestyles are really important in the long haul, as are similar values and even personalities to an extent (though some would argue that personalities need to be complementary which is a whole other point of discussion in itself).

But all of these incidents got me thinking back on what a theology teacher in college told me:

“You marry the person, not whose traits you love the most, but whose flaws you hate the least.”

And I guess that’s true, in a way.  I just have to think about which flaws in my partner I can live with and which attributes I consider essential in order for our relationship to work.  Compound this with the “ditto goes for vice versa” effect and we’re talking about a 1% chance that I’ll ever find someone out there.  LoL  But I consider myself an optimist, so I’m sure I’ll find him even if it takes me ’til I’m 64!  *cue Beatles music*

TRUTH about cats & dogs

“It’s a given that all men are dogs. What differentiates each guy is how much dog is in him.”

I barely settle into my side of the cab and my college buddy starts barking his version of conventional dating wisdom at me.

“I suggest you tap into me to discern the purebreds from the strays in your life and NOT that silly book by Steve Harvey.” Davis glances down at the three copies I’ve got carefully tucked in a clear plastic bag for my gal pals. He’s determined to squeeze in brunch by the Bay before heading back to Tulsa. “You know a good guy will come along when you least expect it, or are looking for it.”

It’s obvious he’s caught wind of my recent internet dating fiasco. I suspected as much when both he and the girls were quite insistent that we meet up on this not-so-sunny Sunday morning. I try to fill him in on my latest mismatch: Mr. Persistent-turned-less-Consistent.

“Well, that could be a sign, but it also could be something came up.” Davis runs his hand through his chin length hair. Looks at my expectant expression and pinches my nose before it can wrinkle. “You should never read too much into what men do, because, quite frankly, we don’t know what the hell we are doing in most cases.”

“It just throws me for a loop. I like it when guys do what they say they’ll do. I thought we had that. It’s what I liked the most about him.” So I thought. I am SUCH the SUCKER.

“The guys you select just don’t know real talent when they have it in their grasp.” He shakes his wavy locks. “It’s just a shame.”

“You’re being sweet because you’re my friend.” My mood matches the forecast. It doesn’t help that I’m not a morning person.

“No. I’m telling you because you’re missing the point. The one thing I do know is that the more you women like a man, the more they get all scared.”

“Who does?” Davis wags his finger between himself and the driver. The driver glances back at us through his rear view mirror, his eyes crinkle in agreement. He’s got great laugh lines. He’s also got on a ring. On his left hand. Guess he’s not one of the strays.

Davis rubs the steamy window with his elbow. He squints at the street signs up ahead. “Make yourself a little mysterious. We love a good mystery.”

Here we go again. “I don’t get it.”

“Look, you know I think you are the sweetest woman I have ever met. Just real thoughtful and nice. And I am a total prick.” Davis guffaws. Maybe that’s a mark of a real man in the Midwest. Someone not afraid to carry around, then empty out, belly fulls of laughter everywhere he goes.

“So if I see it, you know darn well those soft guys you like will notice it, too.” He laughs out loud again at the look of horror I can’t seem to squelch these days. “The old adage, ‘don’t mistake kindness for weakness’ perhaps.”

This time, I groan loudly. “I barely know how to flirt as it is. Now that I’ve sorta got that down, what next?”

“What you have to do is be interested, but not seem interested. It’s a fine line to walk, but be more cat-like than dog-like.”

“What’choo talkin’ ’bout Willis?” The rain’s pounding on the cab’s rooftop now, matching the rhythmic thudding of my heart.

“You ever notice how a dog runs up to you when you come home?” I nod. He smiles. Doesn’t skip a beat and continues: “But a cat. Oh my, a cat does not seek you out. A cat has to be found.”

The gentle drum of the rain onto the roof of our cab does nothing to drown out Ra Ra Riot’s refrain ringing in my head …my bed’s too big for just me… I shake my head. Hard.

“Be more like a cat.” Just for the record, I abhor cats. Of any kind. Maybe it’s because I’m deathly allergic. “You are sweet with a heart of gold, but not every guy needs to know that from the start. And, lastly, mix it up just a little bit. Maybe you need to be more selective. A lot more selective.” No kidding.

It’s my turn to stare out the window. It’s all fogged up. So is the story of my current dating situation. Gotta love it.

“Just don’t play your hand too fast is all.” Davis hands the driver a twenty and slips out of the cab. He opens his umbrella and holds out his hand towards me. “Quality women usually get quality men. It just does not happen on the time table you may have set for yourself.”

PUPPETS, PIRATES & ICE-CREAM… Oh my!

“So this guy points out all our differences on the date…” Eddie wants a full rundown on my latest-and-greatest dating adventure. I’m trying to convince him that this taking-it-slow mantra is just not working for me. It’s not my style. Right?

“Wait, this is your second date?” He’s got his big brother glare up and running.

I nod. “So he calls me and leaves a message saying he wants to chat. I thought he blew me off. I’m so confused.” I hate being petulant. Dammit. “I don’t understand guys at all. I really, REALLY don’t.”

“He’s playing you like a puppet and you’re letting him.” It’s my turn to glare. “Do not give him the satisfaction.”

“Yuck!” It’s not my salted caramel and Meyer lemon ice-cream combo on a cone that I’m talking about. “So he’s NOT interested in me, huh? Is that what guys do? So what do I do? I don’t want to make the same mistakes in the future with other guys.”

Eddie finishes ordering his blood-red orange sorbet with creme-fraiche ice-cream in a cup. “I don’t know about that.” He thrusts his remaining two bucks into the tip jar. “But if you keep doing what you’re doing. Yes.”

I blink rapidly. The sunbeams are bouncing off the bright yellow interior of the creamery. I close my eyes to soak in the warmth of the rays on my cheeks. The caramel mixed with lemon tastes a tad bit saltier than I remember it being.

With any other person, this lull would usually drag discomfort along with it. Not with Eddie. I listen to him tossing names of some of the newer, more eclectic bands that are performing in town with the soda jerk behind the counter.

I feel a gentle nudge on my back. Eddie’s propping the door with one foot and studying my lack of expression. I step into the bright sunlight and squint up at him. Too damn tall, I tell you. He pushes my sunglasses down from my head to the bridge of my nose. I readjust them with my index finger. We start walking towards 826 Valencia. His niece’s pirate-themed birthday party is in a couple of hours and we’ve been assigned to pick up a few choice items for the festivities.

“This is what you do.” He’s not letting me off the hook so easy. Whoever said silence was golden wasn’t kidding. Too bad I’m partial to platinum. “Cherish yourself. Hold yourself in the highest regard. Always keep in mind that not any guy can have you because you’re very selective.”

“Jessica says I’m way overthinking things. That I’ve got impossible standards and I end up sabotaging my dates with them.”

Eddie stops short. I slow down and turn to look at him. My salty and citrus concoction drips to the pavement. “Is this what this is all about!?!? You know, I hate having to say this, but she’s the last person on Earth I’d listen to when it comes to dating.”

I grimace. He’s not a fan. I forgot about that. Jessica’s got this knack for rubbing people the wrong way. She claims she’s socially awkward, but still has an amazing ability to score a gazillion dates without blinking an eyelash. Even the fake kind. It floors me. Eddie knows this.

“I know she’s your friend,” here it comes. “But those guys she attracts in droves? Not the kind of guys you want.”

“Correction. That you think are good enough for me.”

He grins. Widely. I’m learning. He’s a proud Papa again. “All I’m saying is that you should hold onto these things and you’ll attract the kind of guys that you want.”

I playfully punch his left arm. His sorbet starts to topple, but Eddie skillfully saves it with a flick of his wrist. Whoops. Close one.

“Hey, I can tell you what to say forever in every situation.” Gotta hand it to him, he’s got tunnel vision. It’s a guy thing. Can’t shake Eddie once he’s focused. “But if you see yourself the way I just described…all of it will naturally come from you. You won’t need my help.”

“Nonsense.” My nose is doing that wrinkly thing again. “And miss out on all this fun?”

I toss out the rest of my cone. Just not in the mood, really. It’s a sad state of affairs. Ice-cream is supposed to make everything better. So I’m led to believe. Eddie hands me his. I muster up a lopsided smile.

“Hey. None of that. Okay? You’ll learn so much from every encounter. Before you know it, you’ll be giving me advice.”

I Got Fluffed

Patience or denial? Um, that would be denial. I got fluffed. Played like a banjo.

I saved a low-level of optimism that that Sunday’s tentative wine-tasting date with Mr. Perfect would come together. After all, his efforts of pursuit had increased after Wednesday’s date, so there was hope he was “getting it”. On the flip side, I knew his company was firing a key executive on Friday, and that meant the likelihood that he’d have to work all weekend at about 99%. I didn’t care, this would be the test.

And of course, on Sunday, I was blown-off. I called in the morning to confirm plans, no return call. In the afternoon, I realized – ironically, before my blog was posted and Josh made his (psychic or experienced?) prediction – that eventually I would have to call his bluff. So I did.

The email I sent (after careful review by trusted friends), was simple and sincere. No drama, no psycho chick shit, just pointed, with a touch of warmth but clearly conveying – I was frustrated and ready to walk away. The essence was – you’re not being respectful of my time and interest, being busy is not a sufficient excuse, and it’s telling me that you’re just not that interested. In a different time and place I would have welcome a casual/whatever relationship, but now I was looking for something that has at least a chance of progressing forward. Even tentative plans deserve at least a “hey, can’t make it.” Period. So I left it in his court – if he thought we could work it out, I’d welcome the call. If not, best wishes, was nice to meet you.

It’s important to note that normally I would have ignored him and send him back to Doggy Training School, where silence says more than words. But I knew I had to test his oh-so-perfect words of Wed night about working things out instead of playing games. More than that, I keep getting advice to give men a chance and say how I feel, which is very, very, very hard for me to do. I sent the email to his personal address, and a note to his work email saying I had sent a message.

I got an immediate response – I mean, in seconds. He said he was slammed at work (surprise), but would check his personal email. Then, less than a minute later, a response: “Did we make plans for today??”

I laughed out loud. True, drink-induced date planning was probably not a great idea. Assuming we were on for Sunday instead on confirming, another mistake. Was he simply playing dumb? Or had I assumed friendly intoxicated banter meant a Sunday date? I wish I had posted my blogs in real-time, because then I would have known (based on the feedback) that he was playing dumb.

Can you hear the banjo music?

I didn’t mean to let him off the hook, but I think I sort of did. I communicate most things with humor, and in my reply (aka, “LOL, I guess drink induced date planning is not a good idea”), I inadvertently made it sound like it was no big deal.

It really doesn’t matter. A normal person with a functioning sensitivity chip would have at least called to say, “oops, sorry for the confusion.” The lack of a phone call told me everything I needed to know. This guy was a self-absorbed asshole or he just wasn’t that into me. Either way I lose. And more importantly, either way, I was a fool.

The realization should have been like a crisp and clear slap in the face, but honestly, it crept in slowly. I just couldn’t believe I got fluffed by this guy. I’m a reformed game player, skeptical, burned hard in the past, and as a result, slow to believe a single word that comes out of a man’s mouth. But somehow, I had allowed myself to believe – the connection, in every way, felt real. Conversation you can manipulate, but the unique physical chemistry too? Why invest in 4-6 hr dates with a woman you’re not really into? Why share embarrassing confessions or intimate details about the insecurities in your life with a woman you might toss away at any moment (that’s risky, we do crazy shit when we’re pissed and want revenge)? It just didn’t make sense.

But within a day or two, I realized none of it ever made sense. Again, props to our reader, Josh (who should start his own Relationship Crime Scene Investigation service) carefully picked out the inconsistencies from blog #1 on this. You know what the real mystery is? How the HELL did I fall for this BS? How did I let myself believe in anything this early? I KNOW better. Am I so desperate to believe in men and relationships again that I was willing to let it ride, even in the face of obvious and consistent red flags?

Oh, I talked to my guy friends and assured them this is EXACTLY why I don’t take men seriously and that I am going back to game-playing and using sexual appeal as a weapon. That I’m never going to tell men how I really feel because it’s always a big fucking waste of my time, and that the next time I sense an inkling, a sliver, a micron of taking me for granted I’m going MIA and that’s that. I told my girlfriends that I hope for his sake he never contacts me again or he’ll understand what it really means to be played, ‘cause I have all the time on my hands in the world to teach him what it feels like to feel stupid, that I’ll show him what being gamed really looks like.

That was just pain talking. Here’s the truth. My fear of being a bitter, man-hating woman is bigger than my fear of being duped or hurt. The truth is I realized through this that I am surrounded by a small army of wonderful friends who love me and are adamant I deserve better, cheering me on to keep trying and making plans to kick this guy in the balls if they ever see him. In all my stupidity and denial, I feel even more loved and valued by the people who know me.

So thank you friends, for keeping it real and not letting me wallow in self-pity. You’ve all convinced me I shouldn’t say no to the gamble, even if it doesn’t turn out the way it should.  It’s funny, I’ve been thinking a lot about my favorite game in Vegas, Let It Ride. Even when you’re dealt shitty cards, you can pull back your bet a little but never fold entirely. And those of you who have played with me know I always put $1 on the side bet – sure, it’s against the odds, but when you win, you win big. So I’m staying at the dating table, putting a $1 on the side bet to boot, and when I have a hand I think might win, I’m not going to pull back my bet, I’m going to let it ride.

So screw you Mr. Perfect Date.  The pain of losing this round will fade fast as a new set of cards are dealt.