Tag Archives: books

Of the Coming of Men into the West

In the Silmarillion, in chapter  17 , we learn more about how Elves first met Men. On a Sunday in January 2015, I first met a blind date from match.com for coffee. We shall call him Mountain Man.

drink

Mountain Man appeared to pass most of my MH/CS,  ( Must Haves and Can’t Stands  for those new to the blog) and was distinctly different than the rest of the emails I received in that he emailed me before I added a picture. I found this refreshing and I was interested in meeting a person of such character. We had common goals of reducing consumption, avoiding Wal-Mart, and saving the Earth. We each had one kid, and he prized a good mother as the most-admirable trait he was looking for.

Although I was 100% honest about each thing I said, I feel like I presented my “idealized self” on this date. I am going to do more research and thinking upon dating stages and when to break in real-world realness like baggage, potential deal-breakers and daily struggles.

Like the Ash Mountains bordering Mordor, there were peaks of problems in our conversation. He brought some realness to the conversation, and the date felt a bit like an interview. He still seems a bit bitter about the ex-wife. The Mount Doom of the conversation was that he was on a mission to find someone with whom he could retire to the mountains with, and live off the grid in a cabin. He was really interesting, and had wonderful stories to relate about camping under the stars 39 nights (not counting the ones in his backyard!) last year. I don’t camp. I don’t even glamp . I’m not opposed to trying it, it’s just that some physical issues I have prevent it from being really viable.

ash mountain

I knew fairly quickly that this was not going to be a love match, but was pleased when he asked me out again. I agreed. We decided that we would meet again a week away, another Sunday date. To be honest, I knew before even the first date that we would not be a love match, but I was eager to practice my dating skills, which had been gathering dust in my spinster closet.

I mean... check out my pick-up line!
I mean… check out my pick-up line!

We texted a bit during the week. He even asked me about a hypothetical weekend get-away. I felt he really liked me, so I was willing to roll with it.

Sunday came and went. No word from him.

stood up

11:45 pm Sunday night he text me, “I’m an ass.”

Yes, Yes you are.
Yes, Yes you are.

There was no way I was responding to him that late at night. I was awake, as I am a night owl, but dude barely knew me! And I shall not be thy booty call, Mountain Man. I responded to him the next day and let him know that I had no hard feelings about it, that I didn’t think I was the mountain trekker of his dreams, but I wished him luck in finding her. He didn’t really take that lying down…. Cue compliments.

listening

We chatted a bit over the next few days, and I thought he got the point. Until I got a friend request on facebook.

friend

I didn’t answer that. Bit weird. Then two days later I got a random, middle of the night text from him, “What is your Birth Date?”

date

On to the next. I can’t let the muggles get me down.

outta here

 

‘A darkness lies behind us,’ Bëor said; ‘and we have turned our backs upon it, and we do not desire to return thither even in thought. Westwards our hearts have been turned, and we believe that there we shall find Light.’- Chapter 17, The Silmarillion

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Must Haves

I’ve mentioned a few times the book Date or Soulmate? by Neil Clark Warren.

reading

I have done a study of this book in my Wednesday Night Singles group at church. Neil Clark Warren, the books author, is also the co-founder of e-harmony, another online dating service similar to match. Although the book’s material didn’t lead me to choose their website for my online dating service, I was still able to gather a lot of information from fully going through the material. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in dating. You are able to really decide what things you really need a partner to have and want things you must avoid in order to have a healthy relationship for you. It doesn’t need to only be used by people seeking a spouse- you can put these same filters for use, regardless. After putting in some serious thought, I came to several “light-bulb moments” on why some of my previous relationships didn’t work.

delum

The book covers the 50 most popular Must Haves, and advises that yours may not be on the list, but to add it to your list. As we’ll see in an upcoming post- one of my Can’t Stands was one I had to write!

Some examples of the top 50 are: Artistic, Organized, Conflict Resolver, Abstinent, Sexually Adventurous, etc.

For me, I had 22 of the top 50 checked in my book. those would be traits I would like to see in a partner. You are then asked to narrow that list to the top 10, and the top 5 (in the top 10). I will include the definition from the for the terms on the words I’ve chosen, for your reference, dear reader.

My top ten Must Have traits:

1) Sense of Humor- I must have someone who is sharp and can enjoy the humorous side of life.

laugh

2) Chemistry- I must feel deeply in love and attracted to my partner.

trust

3) Intellectual- I must have a partner who is bright and can share my understanding of the world as well as enjoy discussing important issues, like who’s the greater wizard Gandalf, or Dumbledor?

vs

4) Adaptable- I must have a partner who is able to adapt to life’s surprises.

5) Stepchildren- I must have someone who will accept my children as his or her own.

harry room

6) Staying In- I must have a partner who mainly enjoys staying in together and having some quiet evenings alone or with close friends.

7) Autonomy- I must have a partner who will give me space to be my own person.

eliz

8) Spirit of Volunteerism- I must have a partner who shares my willingness to volunteer and support community and/or social causes.

9) Family Life- I must have a partner who is committed to me, home and family. (The book actually says “marriage, home and family.” but I am not sure I want to be married again.)

10) Relaxed- I must have a partner who is able to forget about money and focus on the important parts of life.

family

I am looking forward to sharing my can’t stands with  you in my next post, and I can’t wait!!! to tell you all about my first date! I did it- I ACTUALLY WENT ON A DATE!

And So It Begins

I’ve done it. I’ve published my profile.

begins

I’ve had a ton of emails on my profile! Ok, maybe not a ton. 2. I’ve had 2 emails.

2 already

They both asked for a photo.

frodo selfie

I don’t consider myself a photogenic person. I do not frequently, if ever, post selfies online. I decided to do research on the most effective profile photos for online dating, and among the directions were:

1) Solo photos. No photos including friends, children or pets. Well, all my photos include those.

selfie

2) Wear red, and if possible, red lipstick. I don’t wear red much. I have one red sweater and one red scarf. Does a Gryffindor scarf count as red?

photo

3) Show teeth.

gollum teeth

4) Be outside, and if possible, reflect activity.

teeth

After all this, and after many selfies, I decided on this:

perfect

In all seriousness, I really want this to be a successful endeavor. I did try to take some selfies. I wasn’t happy with any of them. That lead to some self-reflection that perhaps confidence is a big issue for me with dating. Especially when I’m looking at some of the photos the gentlemen have chosen to post. Am I being too picky with my photo, or are they not being picky enough?

After taking some time to meditate on this, I fear that in my seriousness, I have made a mistake by not starting my profile with pictures. I have missed my first chance with many men. I want to remedy this by taking photos tomorrow, New Year’s Eve, but I am not going to post them until New Year’s Day.

I also hereby resolve to not be so serious. I have found the perfect profile photo.

smile

Forward? or Forward!

So Christmas happened, and I told my family I am going to online date. They are quite surprised. One of the questions that came up was, “How are YOU going to POSSIBLY find someone online?!”

what did you say

Even though the question seems a little insulting, it didn’t bother me because that’s exactly how I felt before I saw the Ted Talk with Amy Webb.

I was able to use her talks’ talking points to explain to my family that online dating is exactly what I need to find an unattached, 40-50 years old, liberal, Christian, non-hunting, Frodo-phile in the middle of the Deep South. When I told them that Amy had a theoretical pool of 35 possibly eligible men in Philadelphia, an area 3x larger than my metro area, they were able to do the math.

I realize I am starting to sound like an Amy Webb fangirl. It’s probably because I AM an Amy Webb fangirl. Unlike many “tips” and “tricks” I’ve seen advertised as online dating hacks, Amy advocates being your best self online, with no tomfoolery or ballyhoo. She isn’t suggesting makeup shading or seductive language to lure a fellow with sex. She suggests to simply present your best self, get objective feedback, and target your audience.

When I went on youtube to show my mother the original Ted Talk, a few television appearances popped up on the menu. Today I watched a small snippet of an episode of The View and an ABC interview Amy was giving for her book. Data, A Love Story: How I Cracked the Online Dating Code to Meet My Match

I took away a few more tips, and decided to watch a few more videos. And then, in the next video, Amy referenced Mary Poppins. Total fangirl moment. My inner 14 year old squee-d. I just told my mother over dinner that I was going to describe myself with these words: Practically Perfect in Every Way.

ruler

That is a cheeky joke, but I have been putting some thought into my profile. I really do want to be able to weed out people with whom I don’t think I will be compatible with long-term, but I am frightened that I may polarize potential dating material by advertising my very firm “must-haves” and “can’t-stands.” It is in these moments that I begin to feel hopeless again about the candidates for me in my geographic area.

Another question my parents had for me was when I was starting. I remember seeing commercials last year after the new year with sales. So, I’m thinking for money’s sake, that I will look for New Year’s sales or maybe a groupon deal.

Regardless of when I will “go live,” it’s another step forward today. Run Shadowfax, show us the meaning of haste.

 

 

An Unexpected Party

Much like Bilbo, I enjoy my solitary time at home. Also like Bilbo, my inner-most Took is pulling me into the world and into change. My world has been changing and I decided to change with it. My child is in middle school, and gets picked up at 7 am each day, to not return until sometimes as late as 7 pm. I had a frightful vision of myself as “only” a mother, no life of my own, facing emptiness when college comes. I have 7 years until that time comes, but I am so independent, it may take a man 7 years to get me to even consider moving in with him!

Earlier this month, I was watching random Ted Talks. I’m a huge fan of these short, informative speeches, and have learned about everything from hand washing to intimacy. On this particular day, I watched Amy Webb talk about hacking online dating. I was so surprised. Her story was my own! I have been turned off by online dating because I am so picky. I didn’t believe that a website could help me find the nerd of my dreams. Anytime I have glanced through free dating sites, or through profiles shown on my friend’s pages, I’ve been appalled at all the spelling and grammar, shirtless (and toothless) pictures, and general lack of class. She has convinced me, however, it IS possible to make dating websites work FOR you, if you know how to work them.

Unexpectedly, Amy has inspired me to do my homework and get registered. In my post-divorce years I have been active in my church’s singles group. I have done tons of personality profiles and studies, and have read lots of books about dating and how to find your soul mate. The thing the books can’t do is actually find that guy or girl for you. What I have to do now is gather those years worth of information and convert it to data useful on the dating service I choose.