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Archive for September, 2009

I think I am a pretty laid back person, but I also know I appreciate manners. I try to be considerate of others and appreciate the same consideration.

If out on a date I purposely silence my phone. If I have a time constraint I will keep my phone close so I can check the time, but make sure I turn it upside down so I don’t see when email, calls or text messages come in.

Why am I providing all this background detail? (Great question!) I went out on a platonic outing with “divorcing guy” and he couldn’t stop texting other girls. I get that I am the one who set the boundary and said I wouldn’t date him, but that doesn’t mean he can be disrespectful. I believe he is clueless as to how rude this behavior is. In some ways I think he needed the attention, and in other ways I think he was trying to show me how desirable he is. Unfortunately, his texting obsession only confirmed my belief he needs a transition girl or two, three … I’m not one of those girls.

He also has this 10-minute standard he refers to often. Within 10-minutes of spending time with a woman he believes he knows if he can fall in love with her. More power to you if this is true. In my experience, there is no way to truly know a person within 10 minutes.

So although we are not dating, I also do not think he is friend material.

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Getting shot down is never any fun for anyone. It tends to suck because rejection isn’t fun for anyone, from the guy getting a basketball swatted mid-shot, to that guy at the bar mustering all his courage to approach the object of his desire. But, as one friend always said, “To become better at something, you gotta put yourself in a situation and be allowed to fail.” What the heck???

You see, my friend talks about “the opportunity to fail” as though it’s some great new age thinking. I mean, who likes to fail at anything at all? It seems counterproductive, in my opinion. But I came around eventually. With respect to being in charge of people in my job I had to allow people the chance to succeed or fail so that they could advance themselves in their work. The old adage is true that one learns more from failure than they do from success. Not only is that true in the work place, but it’s true in the dating world as well.

So I’ve been shot down three times in the last month trying to get my groove on, so to speak. The first time was embarrassing, the second time was wrenching, and the third time was “eh, oh well.”

You see, I recently suspended/cancelled my online dating profiles. There just wasn’t anything going on, but in addition to that I had a feeling that I was relying too much on internet dating services and not enough on my own brand of charm; which some describe as creepe’ neuveaux. I’m not sure I’m down with that assessment, kids. So in cancelling my profiles, I wanted to be more assertive out in public and create connections in a more “organic” way.

One, two, three strikes you’re out!

With this new sense of legendary assertiveness I was ready to take on the random single women of the world, the real world that is. My first opportunity was at a business park. I had a meeting with one of my vendors. They lady working the parking-lot booth was pretty cute. I asked her on the spot if she was interested in a drink or coffee, shortly after blurting to her, “Hello. How are you? It sure is hot, isn’t it?” I wouldn’t describe her look as a scowl, per se, but it was a look of clear disinterest. She simply replied, “No” and proceeded to open the gate and finished by saying “Have a nice day.” Ouch. Perhaps I was too eager on that one. It was also an awkward situation, I don’t know the girl and I was two questions into it before I asked for her number… Making more meaningful conversation to warm things up might be a good thing, I thought to myself.

My next opportunity came at the bar with a few friends. We were there to see our buddy play. Our waitress was very nice and personable, though, it is kind of their job and such. But who cares, I thought. After a number of witty exchanges, I do ask the bartender out. I get a phone number from her. It turns out to be legit, as I called it later. But when the waitress answers the phone she explains that she doesn’t date customers from the bar and states some level-headed reasoning. I have no problem with this. I’m just irritated that she gave me the number at all. It reminds me of that management tactic where a manager builds up their employee before they discipline them. So I’m now 0 for 2. At this point, I’m thinking that hitting on the ‘help’ isn’t such a good idea.

My third opportunity that arose came at a concert. I saw this woman talking with her friend and my eye just caught her. As I was thinking what I was going to say, her friend leaves and that’s when I approach this woman. I open by saying “hello.” She says hi back and we exchange names and just kind of chat about the show (there was an intermission) and we spent a few minutes chatting and what not. As the band sets up for their next set, I casually ask for that woman’s phone number. To which she exclaims, “Sure!” That’s when she fumbles through her purse for something. I have my phone ready to take down her number, but I’m curious what she’s searching for. She finally gives me a crumpled business card with her number on it. I was discouraged by this. You see, I’m of the opinion that if a girl wants you to have her number and wants you to call, she will either write it down for you or give you the number to take it down on your phone and then you call each other to confirm. Ultimately, I think that if I woman gives you a business card, more times than not she doesn’t want to hear from you. Sure enough, I call a couple days later and leave a message. I never hear from her.

0 for 3; I know: Waaaahhhh! I’m not crying over it, though. Each of these setbacks has been a positive learning experience. The third time I was calm and relaxed was able to initiate conversation, even though nothing came of it, I felt I was still going in the right direction. If the magic isn’t there then it’s not there. Sure, it would have been nicer if the gal just told me she wasn’t interested. But that’s uncomfortable and I’m sure she was considering my feelings, too.

The point is that to grow, sometimes you gotta fail. At this rate I’m on a gold mine of personal growth, a regular 49er, if you will. It’s easy to become discouraged, but don’t let the rejection get you down. Learn from it and pinpoint where you can improve. For instance, I think I learned that being too eager and hitting on a woman at work (not street walkers, kids) are probably not a good thing.

Ultimately a person needs to step outside of their comfort zone and be okay with failure. It happens and what’s most important is how a person responds to that failure. We just have to keep at it.

 

Guest post provided by TheUrbanDater.com – Blog covering myriad of relationship issues from what types of gifts to by your significant other to “when a couple should consider moving in together… if at all.” There are no limits on the topics.

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#1
I stink at dating and am even worse with breaking up. I hate the thought of hurting someone’s feelings and try to convince myself I am doing everyone a favor by not wasting time or letting feelings become deep. I’ve realized there is no perfect time and the “It’s me, not you” is a legitimate excuse that no one wants to hear.

I was dating the 34-year old 13-year old and decided it wasn’t working. We were too different in too many ways and he was way too kinky for me. My resolve came when I realized I didn’t like kissing him and being around him was annoying. Now I had to decide when to break things off.

I didn’t want to vanish and just stop talking to him and his birthday was coming up so I didn’t want to break-up on his b-day. Interestingly, I get an email from him a few days before his birthday saying he met someone he wanted to date and we had said we would let the other know. He said he felt like crap because I treated him well and we should talk in person. I was relieved, but also wanted to throw the BS flag. If he wanted to talk in person he wouldn’t have sent an email. There really wasn’t anything more to talk about. I agreed it was time to end things and wished him well.

#2
I met a guy from the online dating site for coffee. He wasn’t physically what I expected, but our emails were fun and we seemed to have a lot in common. We both work for the same company, but in completely unrelated divisions. Within the first week he was using our internal IM to send me notes and talk about our days. At first this wasn’t an issue, but he started trending to sexual innuendos; something I am not comfortable with on corporate IM.

I expressed some reservation about the direction and pace he was taking and he agreed to course-correct and slow down. He then invited me to dinner later that week.

During dinner there were more innuendos and I finally told him I couldn’t pursue the relationship because we were definitely on two different paths with two different comfort levels. He said he was sorry but understood.

A day or so later he IM’d me saying he wished we had “fun” before I decided not to pursue a relationship. Guess my message didn’t get through.

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I was flying to Virginia Beach from Dusseldorf, Germany. It was a long and crazy flight that ended up in me meeting two men on a hop between Dulles and Virginia Beach. I went out with both men; the first a reservist and the second a Mormon Army Diver. (You’ll see why the religious identification is important later.)

I only went out to dinner with the reservist guy and went back to my hotel alone soon after. He was boring, arrogant, presumptuous, drank way too much and became too touchy. He wanted to make out in the restaurant and then in the parking lot. He also wanted me to invite him back to my hotel. I ended up thanking the guy for dinner and didn’t commit to a next date but didn’t say I wasn’t interested either. I couldn’t find the words. I took the easy way out and avoided the guy’s calls the next couple of days. It was cowardly.

The second guy, the Mormom Army Diver, called and asked me out the following day. We had a good evening and conversation flowed easily. I was only in town for a few days for work and we ended up going out the next couple of nights too. I flew back to Seattle and we attempted a long distance friendship/early-relationship for several months before we both became more interested in other people. Then, six months later, Mormon Army Diver guy and I started emailing again. I don’t remember how it started, but it soon escalated to long evening calls and plans to see one another.

He had a dive job in New Jersey and I had a job interview in New York so we made plans to see one another. He planned a very nice date if everything hadn’t gone wrong. He made dinner reservations at the one NY restaurant I don’t like, lost tickets to the Broadway play we were suppose to see and almost missed our bus back. In hindsight it is funny, but at the time it was frustrating. We were able to show proof of purchase for the Broadway tickets because he ordered online. Unfortunately, I had already seen the play and our seats were obstructed.

I will admit I freaked a bit when our weekend together ended. I did feel as though there was a connection but didn’t think we would see each other again anytime soon. I’m one of those people who want you to pull the Band-aid off fast so it hurts all at once instead of a prolonged hurt. This was my thinking about a relationship with this guy; better to end it now rather than get attached and be heart-broken later.

We got into an argument about my thinking and he was persistent in pursuing a relationship. Eventually, I relented and decided to see where this would go. We made more plans to see each other with him visiting me in Florida and then flying out to Seattle. The Florida visit was amazing and we began to discuss a long-distance relationship. He began to talk family and marriage and I realized we were on two different timelines. He felt marriage should occur very shortly after an engagement. I felt an engagement can vary in length and I wasn’t ready to commit to either just yet. He talked about his religious beliefs about home and family.

The Seattle visit was equally great, but even more surprising. He gave me a gorgeous necklace and earring set and told me he loved me. I said I thought I was starting to love him too. Talks of next steps, long distance relationship and timelines continued. Again, I reiterated I wasn’t ready to get married any time soon. He returned to Virginia Beach and freaked out. Literally!

He was enraged at everything and nothing; cursed significantly when he rarely cursed; and disappeared for a couple of days at a time. I would receive cryptic text messages saying he couldn’t manage his anger and was just going to sleep so the day would end. He sent one saying he was “just like the other jerks I knew”. This last one really confused me because I try very hard not to judge others by baggage I may have.

Valentine’s Day comes and I get beautiful red roses and then a text telling me he was going camping. A few days later I finally receive the clarity I needed in the form of a Facebook status update indicating he was in a relationship with someone else.

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My dating experiences have led me to notice an array of hugs. There’s the hug hello you give an acquaintance, hug you give a friend, an intimate hug, consolatory hug, and the pity hug.

There are definitely times when I will hug a date hello; however, I have to admit I like it when it is on my terms. I don’t like when someone new presumes I am a hugger. One can argue this is a double-standard, and perhaps it is. Fact is, I like my personal space. Anyway, the hello hug is a great way to let the other person know you are happy to see them and start the date off with positive energy and intent.

There are subtle differences between the hello hug for an acquaintance than when it’s a good friend. I’ve noticed differences in the length of the hug, tightness of hug and even stance and distance.

The intimate hug is much softer and welcoming. Personal space is less of an issue as you want to feel the other person next to you. It’s longer, lingering and comforting.

The pity hug is the one you give after a bad date. It’s an act of closure for me and a way to let the other person feel a bit better. The intent is not to mislead. It’s quick and not intimate. There’s more of a lean into the hug instead of being close and entering fully into each other’s personal space.

I will admit I hope for more of the welcoming friend hugs and intimate hugs, but pity hugs are the current majority.

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