Tag Archives: dating

I Can Tell That We Are Going to be Friends

I have been at it for a little over a month on Match.com. Napoleon Dynamite is a great movie to explain my experience so far with online dating. Every day I visit the site, see my matches and decide to whom I am going to respond.

kip computer
dudes! dudes!

It’s a bit of a repetitive cycle, but I feel I’m #winning.

napoleon-dynamite-tetherball

One of the obstacles I knew I would have is clothing. I’m not a wealthy person, but I try to do what I can within my budget to look trendy and cute. I solved this problem by resolving to wear the same outfit on each first date; a wrap tunic, leather look leggings and suede booties. I feel like I respect my modesty by being covered, but still look alluring.

outfit

That worked out really well UNTIL I had two dates in one day (luckeee!) AND the second date was dinner at a super-fancy restaurant (sweet!). I tried to use gold bracelets to make me look official, but that didn’t dress up the casual outfit enough. I planned to bring my next set of clothes and make a quick change at a nearby Panera into a cocktail dress. I’ll update you on both of those dates in another post. The outfit, though, continues to work, and I will keep using it on first dates.

The other half of the clothing issue is what the men are wearing. I’ve been on two blind dates in the past, before using match.com. One of the two of them dressed appropriately. Match.com does not have that success rate with clothing. Just looking at the profiles and pictures makes me want to sing  Beyonce’s Upgrade U song to them. I know Lafawnduh helped Kip out with his wardrobe, but I really don’t want to put the effort into cleaning a closet out of all it’s Affliction shirts and camouflage.

Napoleon-Dynamite-GIF-Rex-Do-you-think-I-got-where-I-am-today-dressin

On these first dates, I am learning a lot of skills:

skills i gained

The guys have a lesson to learn, though:

skills

Each guy I have gone on a date with has asked me for a second date. YESSSSSSS! I haven’t gone on any second dates, though. These first dates have been good practice for me, but there were definitely “red flags” on each of the dates (save one) that discouraged me from following through. I decided to break the dates and I stayed in last weekend.

gosh

Even though I voluntarily made the choice to stay in, it was still a bit of a let down. I spent my time working out and going out for healthy meals with my friends, but I was a little sad that I used my kid-free time in that manner, when I have so little time to date. I spent some time reflecting on my dating choices, what’s working, who I responded to, who I’ve blocked, and what I would like to change in my process.

I think my problem is the first impression from my profile and photos isn’t attracting the people I’m interested in. I still need to convey that I’m fun, and somehow appear more attractive in my photos, while not only attracting bar flys. Maybe I can get a bike and take it off some sweet jumps.

full body

Second, I think I should spend more time chatting/emailing with guys before I go on a date with them. On two of the dates, it didn’t take me long to figure out that the most we were going to be is friends. I should definitely follow Kip’s lead and chat more.

serious

I’ve come to these conclusions, but don’t know how to transition my ideas into reality. And beyond that, I don’t know how to take that flippin’ sweet profile and have it generate the man of my dream. I guess until I have those ideas, there’s nothing left for me to do but DANCE!

dance

 

 

 

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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

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

At the Council of Elrond

At the Council of Elrond strangers from distant lands were called to gather to decide the fate of the one ring. I have similarly gathered with my single girlfriends over the past several weeks to tell them of my decision to date.

elrond

This was a shocking change to them indeed. Now, they weren’t as shocked as Boromir was to hear Isildur’s tale, but they were interested in the video that changed my mind. After watching Amy Webb, they understood a little bit more, and were excited to tell me their online dating stories.

I wrote down a lot of their feedback on the different dating sites. I also learned about the way paid sites work. It was a bit of a shocker that the 3/6/12 month contracts that had monthly fee were actually charged at once. That puts a different spin on the cost for me. As a single parent, I have a strict budget. I will need to figure out if I can afford to date!

numbers

The main paid sites under my consideration are Match.com, eharmony.com, and Christianmingle.com. I gave some serious consideration to eharmony. I have read the book Date or Soulmate by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, and have my “must-haves” and “can’t-stands” defined. The target market for eharmony and Christianmingle feels a bit more conservative than I am. And a bit more serious about dating only with the altar in mind. Because of that, and because of positive comments about the ease of use and large active user base, I decided on match.com.

How long will it take me to find an elven king that looks at me like Sam looks at Rosie?

Prologue

Frodo had to make many serious decisions. Is Strider a true friend? Should The Fellowship attempt the Misty Mountain Pass? Through which method should they enter Mordor? Unfortunately for Frodo, Middle Earth had not entered the age of the computer, and therefore he didn’t have google to help him.

google

My first decision is choosing between a paid or a free dating site. Rather than looking at online reviews of this, I decided to ask my friends. These anecdotal responses are not scientific, but know that they are actual users and includes paid and free users, male and female, LGBT, a variety of races, never-married, widows and divorced, and those with and without children.

In general, my friends viewed free sites to be of use for those that are “less serious” about forming a lasting relationship. This does not mean that only those with serious intentions were on paid sites, but their experience was that the fee acted as somewhat of a filter. So that brought up another decision to make: do I want a serious relationship? Well, yes, kinda.

I want to stop here and define for myself, and for the reader, by what I mean by “serious relationship.” For me, a serious relationship is committed, monogamous, growth oriented, mature and healthy, and public. Serious for me doesn’t have time requirements each week. Serious is better defined by intention and dedication than by rules and check-lists.

My friend Tammy is currently “dating without expectations.” That idea is appealing to me. Being able to get to know someone without the heavy weight of their expectation that the relationship will lead to marriage is the type of dating I need. If you’re familiar with Harry Potter, in The Order of the Phoenix, Harry goes on a date with Cho Chang to Madame Puddifoot’s. It’s Valentine’s Day, and all the couples around them are kissing and holding hands. In contrast, it’s Harry’s and Cho’s first date. The pressure suffocates Harry. That’s pretty much how I feel when a date tries holding my hand walking through Target! I couldn’t even imagine facing a 3rd date with someone knowing ahead of time their expectation was the date would lead to a relationship and that it was really just a matter of time before that walk in Target was a walk down the aisle!

Credit to Yeejian.deviantart.com
Credit to Yeejian.deviantart.com

I decided that although I am not seeking “marriage” necessarily, I am seeking a serious relationship, since I do require monogamy, and I do not want a friend with benefits. Based on my friends’ feedback, I am going to go with a paid site. That narrows my field down to 1,000, right?

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.