Tag Archives: relationships

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

 

 

 

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

Mines of Moria

Can I afford to date? If I go through with match.com, how much might this cost me?

I’m a single mom. I’m not Scrooge McDuck.

money-bin

My head is thinking there’s not only the cost of match; there’s also the cost of “dating.” For any men readers not in the know, let me fill you in… dating is expensive for women. There’s clothing, hair, make-up, nails, waxing, in addition to the costs everyone faces, like the cost for the actual date and gasoline, and intangible costs like time away from friends and family, and additional worry.

Before you start with the “hair and make-up aren’t necessary” lines. Here is what I look like in the morning:

theoden1

Once a crew gets a hold of me like Cinna got ahold of Katniss, I start thinking:

noman

And as I walk out of the door for my date, I resemble:

eowyn2

Except I wear something a bit more conservative. Like a nun habit. More on that later. I am totally new to this, so in my feedback sessions with my friends, they tell me that some first-meet dates are just coffee dates. Some first meet dates (if either person travels or if a positive connection is made in chatting) are dinner dates.

If you can’t already tell, I over-think things. I will need to form some sort of hair calculation tool to weigh how much I like a gentleman versus hair expenses. A blow-out is $25 (plus tip). A full style is $55 (plus tip). Some girls are defined by their make-up, some by their personality; I am defined by my hair. Amy Webb made an algorithm to decide whether to meet someone- I’ll use one to decide whether to meet my dates with my best hairdo or not.

I can probably minimize my clothing costs by going back to a tool I used in high school, a notepad. I kept meticulous count of each item of clothing I wore. If I combine this, a hairdo algorithm and meet only truly viable men, using a paid dating site may be possible for this single mom!

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?