*-*-T-E-R and Smoocher Was her Name-O …pt. III

I don’t think it’ll come as any great shock to most of you that I like to smooch.  I do.  Are there people who DON’T?
And I give a lot of mental airtime to the idea of kissing… after all, not only is it fun to do, but I honestly think it is a significant form of communication and connection. 

Now, this doesn’t mean I go throwing it around…and I’m happy to define my terms here, but when I’m on a date and I’m learning about the guy… if I feel an attraction, why wouldn’t I want to know how he communicates in that way? 

Let me be clear…there are all sorts of ways to kiss. 
There are sweet short kisses that tell you what you need to know and simultaneously impress you in their restraint, 
and then all the way at the other end of the continuum, you’re muggin’ down on the couch of some wine bar for all the world to see.  
And then, … in some rare cases, thre are those dates that end with your neck getting licked…like a dog. 
No, I do not lie.  My dear friend went on a date that ended just like that.  No kiss.  No makeout session.  Just one long clean lick of the neck and off he went… probably to go chase a tennis ball.
Say it with me:  “Guh-ross.”

So, today’s 2-part question is – how does kissing play into the beginning phase of the dating process…and how does it affect the relationship afterward, if you decide to stay friends?

Everyone is different with their “rules.”  (By the way, if you think you don’t have rules and that you just “go with the flow” and see where the wind takes you, you’re wrong.  You may be open to spontaneity, but you have boundaries and lines you won’t cross…they may not be as tidy and defined as mine, but you’ve got ’em.  We all do.  For instance, one of my rules (now), is – ‘no second date if he licks me.’  Just sayin’…).
But everyone differs on whether they’ll kiss on the first date, and if so, what KIND of smooch it’ll be…
For me, it’s less about a line in the sand I’ve made, and more about the nature of the date.  If we are connecting and enjoying each other and there’s a natural opportunity for a kiss, I’m going to go for it.  After all – it’s more information!  Is he a good kisser?  (as defined my more than technique… looking for passion and thoughtfulness… to see more about how I gauge a kiss, check out this post.)  My time is limited and if I go on 5 dates with a guy before ever getting smooched, only to find that he’s inconsiderate, overly aggressive, or a myriad other deal-killers, those are 5 dates worth of nights I’m never getting back!

I know some of you are thinking…. well, what if that makes you too easy? 
Look…I’m not giving away the whole enchilada… just a kiss. 
It matches my personality – outgoing, expressive, passionate. 

And… to clarify…I go on PLENTY of first dates where I DON’T kiss.  It’s not a given.  It just isn’t ‘off’ the table.

In some cases, I’ve had girlfriends who kissed on the first date and then never heard back from the guy.  They thought that maybe it was because they’d “given too much away on the first date.” 
Doubtful
I dare say I’ve never met ANY guy who wouldn’t call a girl back for a second date because she kissed him at the end of the date.  Not unless the kiss was BAD….or something ELSE was going on.  Readers, feel free to disagree with me.

Next…post-snogging relationships.  If you decide to take your relationship to the friend zone (“Iiiii’ve been to the fri-iend zone…fri-iend zone… take me riiiiiight into-oooooooo the frie-end zooooone……. ok, sorry…I simply couldn’t resist it), and you’ve already been to smoochville?  Simple answer.  Just talk about it.  One converstaion is all it will take.  Quick and dirty.  Something like this:
Hey – you’re so fun.  I’d love to keep this friendship going, but I just don’t think we’re a good romantic match.  And yes…I know… we’ve kissed.  But I can be cool about it if you can.”  Boom.  Done.
Who knows…you may even laugh about it.  You MAY even be able to give each other tips for going forward!  It HAS been known to happen.

Basically, I’m saying there’s no need to be afraid of kissing.

BUT.   (and, naturally, I’m assuming the appropriate high school youth pastor posture as I say this)…
know your limits and lines going INTO a date. 
It may sound parental and silly, given that many of us are adults in our 30’s, 40’s and up… but I still have to remind myself of my standards and ‘rules’ for physical connection.  And if I know what I will and won’t do on a date, going into it, that frees me up to be able to enjoy a snog-fest, should it come my way.

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*-A-T-E-R and Caller Was her Name-O …pt. II

We left off last time with giving your phone number out easily and freely… because… why not?

So, then what?
Maybe you get a flirty banter going…and then on to a date.  Fantastic!

But sometimes you get the most charming back and forth on the phone or text, but it just sits there indefinitely… ugh…

Let’s look at the case of my friend:  we’ll call her Karen.  She met a guy on a 20-mile bike ride/race/drinking thing…(sounds fun, huh?  Except for the biking part).  They talked on and off for 2 hours, ended up having a smooch fest in the parking lot and he put his number into her phone.  The next day he called, but quickly had to get off the phone for some technical difficulty issue, but texted her promptly thereafter.  Then, nothing.

Karen wanted to know if she should shoot him a text to let him know she was still interested.  I said, DEFINITELY.  I mean, …again – what’s the harm?  If he likes her, he’ll be glad to know he’s not alone and that she is intrigued as well.  If he is done with her, then she has nothing to lose.  He’s already a loser.  Ya know?

She (wisely) took my advice and was emboldened to write him back.  They’ve been texting ever since, but sporadically.  They’ll go strong for a while and then nothing…and then she’s left wondering if she should initiate again to pick it back up or if that will create a bad habit of her always having to light the communication fire.  Also… it’s now been over 2 weeks of on/off texting and he hasn’t asked her out again.  She’s pretty traditional and won’t do the asking…so here we sit.  And wait.  In textual, but stagnant land.
(which, by clarification, is not nearly as much fun as the title suggests…)

This brings up an interesting point I’ve noticed as I’ve talked with my single friends, and as I’ve been on ‘the scene’ myself.

1.  Women (other than myself) often don’t want to be the initiators of texting or getting together
NOT because they’re shy or old-fashioned, but because they don’t want to set a precedent early on that they will be the take-control person in the relationship.  Many of my friends have expressed fear that if they act more assertively in asking a guy out, that he’ll take the cue and run with it…never to pursue her again.  And that will define their relationship forever…him being lazy in the back seat and her being forced to “nag” him into action.  Ick.

And yet, I don’t think they’re all wrong.  I also don’t think that initiating the first meet-up necessarily turns them into the rat in the skinner box either – ever conditioned to be on the sidelines of the dating relationship and never to take the reigns.  But, this is how the tricky world of dating gets so convoluted….she doesn’t want to be read as the necessary agressor, he doesn’t want to move forward not knowing if she’s truly interested or only game-playing…so neither of them paddles the boat…and so it sits.  Unmoving in the middle of the lake.  Wow…exciting stuff…

Sigh…it’s like we’re on a giant strategy game board and and each piece is pacing and darting…just watching and waiting to see how to best make their move in such a way that they’ll save face, not look like an idiot, pursue with enthusiasm but not be seen as overly agresive, and still be thought of as romantic and sweet, but not TOO sweet or doormat-ish, …….it’s EXHAUSTING!

Next time…does mugging down hurt your chances of a second date?  (or a real first date?… or being friends later?)

D-A-T-E-R and Flirter Was her Name-O …pt. I

A friend recently asked me about how to know when it’s the right time to give out your number, and how/when to initiate conversation after meeting someone, including texting, etc. and as a woman, where the line is of initiating/driving the communication.  
Whew!  
Good stuff, let’s just dive right in.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that this is an area of struggle for me because my natural tendency is to aggressively pursue something I see that I like…but I’ve gotten into trouble being too pushy after an initial good first date/meeting and it’s spooked guys.  So, let me BEGIN with the full disclosure clause, that I MAY not be the best source of wisdom on this matter.  Between curiosity and naive optimism… I will text/hound a guy until he has to practically pry my proverbial fingers off of him.  Sexy, huh?

That being said…I always have lots of opinions!

First – how/when to give out your number… 

I’m a big proponent of giving it out quickly.  BE BOLD, ladies!  What’s the harm? 
To me, texting and talking are much faster methods of assessing whether there could be a love connection than the messaging systems on the online dating sites (especially the eHarm…good GRIEF…I grow at least 6 gray hairs every time I have to wait for a guy to “respond to my closed ended questions,” etc…. snore… I’m asleep.  Wake me up when there’s an atual DATE on the table).

So, if I’m messaging someone and he seems like a potential match, I’ll usually throw out the digits pretty quickly and even ask him if he’s interested in grabbing a drink sometime.  There is NO time to waste!!  Life is short (and often smoochless), so…I say, strike while the iron is handsome.

And when I’m out and about – if I meet a cute guy without a wedding ring, I’ll often pass him my number as I leave the place (coffeehouse, bar/restaurant, taxodermist’s office…you know…the usuals).  It can be anything from striking up conversation and then giving him my card (I’ll tell you later about the cards I ALWAYS carry with me), to literally scrawling on a napkin, something flirty and simple like: 
You’re cute.  I’m cute.  We should go grab a drink sometime and be cute together.  555-123….” 
(I know, right?  WHAT are the odds that my cell number starts out just like all the phone numbers in the movies?  Crazy.)

But, once you get beyond the initial phone number exchange…then what? 

Tune in tomorrow to find out…

Breakin’ Up is Hard to Deux

So…HOW exactly do you break things off with someone when you’ve decided you’re not a good fit, you ask?
(No, literally, several people have asked me this recently).

I say, you can’t go wrong with honesty.
No, not the nasty “brutal honesty” where you crush a person’s spirit…I’m not suggesting we go all Bill O Reilly on a less-than-perfect match, but just being authentic.  Most people truly appreciate that.

Here are a few tips I’ve found in my foray:

1.  If you’ve gone on 2/3 dates or fewer, texting someone to end things is perfectly acceptable.

“What?  (audibly gasps)  Isn’t texting so TACKY!?!”

Alright…let’s do this.  Let’s have the talk about texting.  It’s been comin’ for a while now…

Back in the day when texting was new to the social communication scene, yeah… it was tacky.  Because then, texting was only used for quick details, directions… more pragmatic purposes.  Texts were adjuncts to phone calls, not the culturally acceptable vehicle of communication that they are now.  Texting is ok!

If you don’t believe me that we can use texts to convey matters of the heart, think back to your dating/love life and tell me honestly that you’ve never gotten a text that made your heart flutter with excitement?  Or (especially if you’re a girl), made you get that visceral version of “awwww….” inside you?
If we can convey the good parts of dating via text (falling in love, flirting, proclamations of devotion and affection), why can we not do the negative equivalent?

Using texting or FB messaging to let someone off your dating hook is also an act of mercy.  Think about it – would you rather get a disappointing text while you’re in your own safe territory or would you prefer to have someone sit you down to dinner, break things off and force you to decide what sort of awkward conversation to have for the duration of your time together?  The phone isn’t AS bad as in person, but it still requires a poised response, whereas being on the receiving end of a text, you don’t have to do ANYthing!?  You can make funny faces, yell, flip the other party the bird…whatever works in your time of grief.

2.  Do NOT use the “fall off the map” method to get your point across.  This is just childish.

I know some of you out there (men AND women) think you’re sparing someone by just fading away… that way you don’t have to say those hurtful words about not wanting to date them anymore.  And you think that somehow, magically, this will make them be JUST FINE with you being gone.

You are wrong.

People want answers.  They want explanations.

If you don’t feel like the two of you have what it takes to be happy as a romantic couple, then have the decency to say so.
Even if it’s hard to be the bearer of bad news, you’re sparing the other person having to guess at WHY you went away.  And I hypothesize that usually the REAL reason why someone walks away from a relationship is FAR LESS hurtful than the possibilities we’re left to come up with in our heads.

In my own personal experience over the last 9 months, if a guy says he’d rather just be friends or he’s not interested and he tells me the reason, it’s SO much better than what my own fear and insecurity will plot against me in my mind.  If a guy just disappears, I’m left thinking he thought I was hideous or worse-he doesn’t think my jokes are funny!  *cringes…

We are grown-ups.  If you don’t want something/someone, be kind enough to tell that person.

You don’t have to offer up a long explanation.
You can simply say, “I’ve thought about the two of us and I just don’t think we’ll make a good match.”  TaDa!  Done.

Now, if the person comes back and asks why, it’s up to you whether you want to

a.  give a politician’s answer (double speak, using ambiguity and confusion to sound like you’re saying something when you’re really not).  This smoke ‘n mirrors option is recommended if the reason you’re taking the last train to splitsville is something out of his control.  Better to use dizzying circular logic to say nothing, than to say, “you’re so short that when we’re out together, even without wearing heels, I feel like I’m walking my child across the street.”

b.  tell him/her the truth.  I usually opt for this one because I know how much I want this when I’m on the other side of the ‘no match’ message.  You’ll be surprised how well people will react to this.

By way of example, I’ve told men:  We don’t line up on the issue of faith/spirituality, your ADD makes me feel like you’re not interested in knowing me, we having different smooching styles, and a myriad other answers.  Surprisingly, all have been graciously received.

3.  Don’t waste time out of guilt, talking with or going out on dates with someone when you know you’re not into it. 

Women are especially notorious for this unnecessary sense of obligation.  Why?  Once you know in your mind that the duo isn’t meant for romantic greatness – break it off right away.  You’ll save yourself time and energy and you won’t lead the other person on, thinking things are good when they’re oh-so-not.

Half the time I begin communicating with someone, all it takes is a series of texts or a phone call to know we’re not meant to be.  And there’s NO way I’m going on a date (read: getting dolled up and using up precious kid-free schedule real estate) if I know we won’t click… that’s just not good biz.

In my NEXT post, I’ll tell you about Raul…Rahul?…hmm… anyway – a guy who I went on 7 dates with before I finally had to break it off, HOW I did it and how HE reacted.

‘Til then – no falling off maps.  Keep it real.

It’s so Ha-a-a-ard to say GoodBy-y-y-ye to Men Todaaaaayyy…

Neil Sedaka knew a great truth about the world of love.  Breaking up IS hard to do.

But, take heart – putting the kibosh on a budding romance these days doesn’t have to be the sad-song-mix-tape making, soul-crushing drama it was in your teenage years.
So, step away from the origami-folded note, stop belting out U2’s “One,” put down your mascara-stained ‘break-up’ pillow and listen up.

I’m gonna use the next few posts to talk about this process.  After all, statistically you’ll do WAY more breaking things off than not.  Let’s hope, for my sake, that I don’t have THAT many more “it’s not gonna work out” texts in my future before I can send the “Hey!  I really think this is gonna work out!” one.  But, until that day, I’ll share my “expertise” with you.

As much as Hilary Duff or the cast of “St. Elmo’s Fire” would love you to believe that ending a courtship must carry with it months of tortured grief, I’m here to postulate that times have, indeed, a-changed.

Now, duh…I’m not talking about the end of a solid long-term relationship.
Those are horrible to recover from.  Best in those cases to just to just stock up on stereotypical frozen treats, load up on youtube stand-up comedy clips to distract from the heart-wrenching pain and hunker down for the long-haul.  I don’t have any great advice for those.  They suck.  Plain and simple.

I’m talking about those situations where you’ve gone out with someone a handful of times (like…the number of dates is still in the single digits), and it’s just not what you’re looking for.

The beauty of dating as a grown-up is that… well… we get to act like grown-ups.
No need to dust off the ‘ol “It’s not you, it’s me” aphorism.  Men these days can usually (usually being an important caveat there) handle hearing that, in fact…. it IS them.  Let me e’splain…

People in their 30’s+ are, in my experience, more invested in the dating process.  This means they actually have given some thought to what they want, what they don’t like, where they’re willing to sacrifice and bend and where they’re not.  So, with that contemplation also comes a sense of self-awareness.  Thus – when you go to tell someone it’s not a good match, he (or she), instead of being a babyish whiney brat about it (a la high school/college), will probably do one of the following:

a.  agree with you, and be genuinely open to staying friends (see my next post on a recent “break up” of mine)

b.  be disappointed, and ask for an explanation.  This is where things get a little tricky…I’ll get into that later…

c.  be disappointed, but appreciate your honesty and bow out graciously.

Example:  Last week I told a guy that I didn’t think we’d make a good match.  Here’s his response:
“Well, I appreciate your candor.  I guess we all know what we want, and I can’t argue with that.  I would love to keep you as a friend and hanger outer!  I definitely enjoy my time spent with you and, while I’m optimistic about any new person I meet, if it doesn’t work (for whatever reason), I roll with it. …Life is too short to be with someone that does not meet our needs.”

And, friends – that is not an exception.  I get that kind of gracious response all the time!  It’s great.

In fact – I have assembled a hodgepodge group of singles that get together and hang out, and most of the men on the list are guys I’ve gone out with and, while it wasn’t a great romantic match, they’ve continued being my friend.   Being an adult…ain’t it grand?

So, stay tuned …tomorrow:  HOW to walk away from a “not so heaven-made match.”

McSmarmy 2.0 and the Loser Pips

Let’s take a trip to the jerk store. Every town has at least one (Houston has 14)…and there you can find all manner of misogynists, scoundrels, miscreants and generically rude persons. They come in every size, color and breed. In the last month, I’ve had the distinct displeasure of dealing with 3 different brands – and I’m here to share my tale with you.

First…and back by popular demand…. (and also, because of a rogue text…) – Mr. McSmarmy!

For those of you just now joining our show…back in May of this year, I gave my number to a guy online who hit me up for what I can only assume was casual sex (he offered, never having met me, to bring a bottle of wine to my house at 11:30 at night on a Tuesday). When I refused, he said some pretty nasty things. All the details can be found here:

https://andallthatsass.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/that-guy-mr-mcsmarmy/

So… I MAY have accidentally sent a text that was intended for a friend, to this guy. And when I say “may,” I mean that, much to my own shock and dismay, I did, in fact, send it. They have the same first name, and I didn’t have either of their last names in my phone (not to fear, the situation has been remedied). But before I realized my mistake, McSmarmy was texting me – “who is this?” Still thinking it was my unsmarmy friend, I played along with what I thought was a string of joking texts. Argh…before long he was calling and I realized, to my horror, what I had done. I apologized profusely and got off the phone, but – as you may have guessed – it sparked an interest with him again and he began texting…. again.

The texting continued from there. I reminded him of how horrible he had been to me in our last round of texts, and he (much to my surprise) apologized, saying he had been in a terrible place then and wasn’t himself, and that he was truly sorry. He asked if he could make it up to me.

Now,… if I didn’t write a blog about these things, I would’ve kindly declined the offer, but… as you all know… I’m wont to bait these situations to see what will come of them. Additionally, he’s a chef at a new popular restaurant near me and I thought I might get a free meal for a girlfriend and myself out of it. So, I told him I might stop by that weekend and say hi. More texts followed where he tried to convince me to meet up with him for a drink, but I was busy with other things and couldn’t.

In LESS than two days, he was already SO frustrated with the fact that I hadn’t met up with him, that he wrote me the “dear John” text. Ha! What?? Two days? This guy is unbelievable.

I’d like to say that’s the last we’ll see of McSmarmy, but… I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll make at least one more appearance…

One can only hope, right? 😉

———————————————————

The next flavor of jerkitude is the guy who wants to see ALL the goodies ahead of time before ever meeting a woman. It’s trés classy.

You’ll know you’ve found one of these gems when you start texting and he asks you for more photos. Now, if you only have one or two pictures on your profile, this is a perfectly fair request, but I have 15 photos up there – some close-up, some full-body shots, …so there should be no question of what I look like. So, it’s always a red flag to me when a guy asks for more. Still… not EVERY guy who presents a red flag is actually a dirtbag, so sometimes I’ll oblige.

I’d like to present to you exhibit A – a string of e-mails between me and one such particular jerk… just by way of example.

Here’s the backstory – we met online. He’s handsome, intelligent and funny. He’s an orthopedic surgeon in Houston’s med center and we share a lot of similar interests: guitar, wine, comedy, etc. So, you can see why I’d be so surprised to find he’s THIS shallow. Read on.

Before we begin – two caveats:
a. This is NC17 stuff, so if you’re reading this with younger audiences (not that I can picture a world in which a pre-teen would have ANY interest in my blog, but still…), you may want to censor first.
b. Yes – I baited this guy. I did it for you… you’re welcome.

First, let me give credit to my friend Tyler, who supplied me with the line of reasoning that if you’re looking for 100% outer beauty, you’re probably going to find just that…and only that. Good stuff.

But…yeah. And lest you think this is an anomalous situation, you’re sorely mistaken. This stuff happens all the time in the dating world. It’s a wonder any of the nice ones even make it to the point of falling in love, when we’ve had to wade through the waters of 100% loser to get there.

———————————————————

The final sort of sot we’ll study today – is the no-show. Yup – having a problem with commitment would be a monumental understatement with these guys. They’re the ones who talk a big game (“Oh my goodness, you’re adorable – I can’t WAIT to meet you!”) and then, when the time comes to put their bodies where their texts are… they’re MIA.

Yup – I’m referring to being stood up.
Left at the altar of first date blues…
Abandoned on the street corner of hope and disillusion…
(alright…enough of the sappy poetic restatements. Everyone knows what it means to be stood up.)

It happened to me for the first time a couple weeks ago. This guy initiated contact with me through an online site. We exchanged some e-mails and then went to texting. He was witty and sweet. He even canceled a meeting to be able to make it to the time/place we agreed on.

Then, I arrived… and he never showed. I texted once…didn’t hear back (until almost midnight that night…. our date was at 5:30).

Here’s what I don’t get. Why wouldn’t you just send a simple tiny text saying, “I’m not going to be able to make it after all.” Or even, “I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think we’d make a good match, so there’s no point in meeting.” What? Too harsh? Really? Worse than forcing me to take my fully-dolled-up self to a bar and sit there like an idiot searching all over for a guy who’s never coming? I realize I may be a bit too traditional, but when you say you’re going to meet someone, you’ve made a promise. You’ve obligated yourself, for better or for worse, to the intention of your words. So, to simply not show up is such a black mark on your character… it’s essentially telling the other person, “Not only can I not be relied on, but I don’t even care about people enough to respect their time and spare their feelings.”

I WILL say this, though. If you’re GOING to be stood up – the place to do it is the Tasting Room at CityCentre, Houston. Here’s how it went down:
My deliciously adorable bartender, Cody (who’s now practically my BFF…ok, he doesn’t know that, hey… … I’ll wear him down in time… but, I’m getting ahead of myself) – Cody chatted me up while I waited and talked about the unfortunate woes of online dating. He poured me some pity wine and then handed me over to the equally charming Angel (yes…that’s his name. No he’s not literally an angel. Though… he DID keep pouring me wine and calling me “Preciosa,” so… not really that far off I suppose) who took care of me for a while after that. Between these two graciously urbane (and did I mention handsome? and funny?) men tag-teaming, I had ample conversation partners – undoubtedly more interesting than my would-be date, and I made friends to keep! Also, because I followed my own rule about the date being ‘drinks only,’ I wasn’t forced to sit all alone at a table for 2 – I could perch myself at the bar with a lovely Chenin Blanc / Riesling blend and two of Houston’s sweetest guys keeping me company. Not a bad date after all.

When I finally did hear from McPromise-Breaker (hmmm…doesn’t flow like “McSmarmy”…I’ll work on it), he was apologetic, but not enough. I think the level of displayed remorse should be commensurate with the transgression and he seemed only mildly upset that he “wasn’t able to make it.” He said he “really did want to see me again,” and would I consider it? Once again, if I didn’t have hordes of followers around the world waiting with bated breath for every riveting post, I would have just said no. I’m not going to waste my time/anticipation/blind hope on someone who has proved unworthy of those things. But… for the sake of good literature (or… self-indulgent drivel… whichever you deem this), I said I would. Give him another chance, that is. He thanked me and said we’d talk about the details the next day.

This is like one of those questions on the SAT where you have to decipher the pattern and fill in the next number/shape/what-have-you. Can you figure out what happened next?

(in her best cheesy talk-show host voice) “That’s RIGHT! You’ve done it! You guessed correctly. She NEVER heard from him again. Step right this way to claim your fabulous prize!”

Yup. Nada. Nunca.
What GIVES? If he knew he wasn’t going to try to make it work that second time, why even bother contacting me at ALL about the first-date faux pas? Maybe this guy gets off knowing he builds up hope only to disappoint…? Is that a THING? I’ll need to check my DSM-IV to be sure…

In any event… you now have a sampling of Houston jerkocity.
Perhaps instead of continuing to hope that “the one” is still out there, I should just take up a life of daytime drinking, putting a seed of bitterness in my children and obscene reclusivity? I’ve got quite a collection of pajamas that need wearing and I’m WAY behind on my Sudoku puzzles. Does anyone know of a good deal on cats?

Men are Mysterious Too

Men are always talking about how they can’t figure women out.  Well, guess what – YOU’RE confusing too!  For every fickle or flakey or frustratingly obscure quality women bring to the dating table, men have an equal contribution.

So, in that light, I thought it might be time for another installment of suggestions/questions for you guys – some of which are relational, some of which are tips/musings on profiles – it’s a hodgepodge sorta day, but …here goes.

Make up your mind whether you want a confident woman or a doormat.

I swear, I can’t win on this one.  One minute you want a woman who’s independent, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it…but then, the second we show a little assertiveness in the dating process (like – initiating texts or calls about meeting up), you get freaked out and back off.  Apparently, texting a guy, telling him you really like him and then asking him out for drinks is ‘pushy….?’  Then, when we back off and follow your lead, you complain that we’re not “into” you.  Aaargh!  Who’s hormonal NOW?

In the last 2 months, I’ve literally missed out on three potential relationships because of this.  The first was going great – several dates, lots of fun, but I think I pushed too hard (telling him that I really enjoyed his company, being enthusiastic about hanging out more)…that I scared him off.  So, I decided to soften my style a bit.  Then, I apparently offended (or bruised the egos of?) two guys last month.  I went out with each of them and enjoyed the time enough to want to see them again.  I said so, but then I followed their lead on texting/e-mailing, etc., rather than doing the pursuing myself.  They were both bothered by the fact that I didn’t initiate more conversation or discussion about wanting to hang out again…and consequently didn’t ask me out for another date!?

One of them even texted…and I quote, “…. (wait..why don’t I just SHOW you?)

When I landed in Houston, I texted him…we bantered.  Then, he texted here and there over the next couple days, and I responded/chatted every time – but never with any mention of hanging out.  Then he disappeared!  A couple weeks later he wrote me to say he wasn’t sure I was interested…    WHAT?  I told him that I WAS!  Still… nothing.

I can’t win.  I’d LIKE to think I’ve mastered that fine line of being charmingly honest with my reactions/thoughts after meeting a guy, but apparently there’s some even more nuanced yet unattainably perfect sweet spot of “how to be” in this arena to keep guys interested without pushing them away…

You’re an easy-going WHAT?

Do you KNOW how many profiles start with this sentence:
“Im a easy-going hard working.  I like to…”  ??
At least 1/3 of all the profiles I read have this in there at some point.  No lie.
OK – time for a teeny grammar lesson…humor me for a moment.  If you use an article (the, an, a), you have to have a subject in there SOMEWHERE.
You’re an easy-going what?  Man?  Business man?  Guy?  Moose?  Pack of gum?  Pick SOMEthing, dude!
Argh…this gets so frustrating.  Apparently I’m an easily-annoyed.
(See what I did there?)

Teasing

This could have a blog post all on its own.  Listen up, men – flirting/teasing is ADORABLE.  It’s a great way to interact with us and bring a playfulness to the relationship.  But, tread softly!  It’s so easy for you to bypass the flirtatious/playful arena and shoot straight into mean-ville – and you don’t even realize you’re doing it!  Thankfully for YOU, we will tell you – just watch for the cues.  If we say something like, (in a pitifully girlish voice) “Hey!  Don’t be mean!” or we back off from the trash-talking convo, or we give you an obligatory, but disingenuous laugh – you’ll know.  And then, you can soften.

I have, in no uncertain terms, told guys when they’ve crossed the line and they’re being hurtful… and they think I’m being cute.  No…..I’m trying to offer you a window where you can still fix it!

Why do men DO this?  Is there some elementary school playground flirting rules left inside them, that didn’t get put aside with their Stridex pads and headgear?  Oy…

Beware the LOL

Men…use this sparingly.  For starters, it’s so overused that it seems false.  It’s essentially the ‘boy who cried wolf’ of the texting world.  Really?  Are you REALLY Laughing Out Loud?   If you’re not, then say what you ARE doing/thinking (e.g. “that’s hilarious!”).  Don’t use a phrase because it’s an easy go-to… that comes across as lazy.

Next, it’s not particularly masculine.  I’m here to tell you that every time you type in ‘lol,’ you’re chipping away at the manly persona just a little… inching closer and closer to friend zone.  This also includes:  ROFL, LMAO, etc., etc.  You are not really rolling on the floor (and if you are,…as in – if you’re the type of person who, upon hearing my witty humor, rolls on the floor – I’m pretty sure I don’t want to date you anyway).  You’re not really laughing a body part off…  Just say what you mean – it’ll probably end up being more complimentary anyway.  (To both of us).

Overly Sexual vs. Asexual

Why can’t men seem to master the nuanced in-between?  It seems like there are only two kinds of men/dates – those who look at you like they’re imagining you covered in A-1 sauce on a bed of chicken wings, or those guys who are so darn friendly that you feel like you’re having drinks with your little brother.  (Actually, my little brother is more fun than most of these guys…)

The biggest problem with guys being on one of the two ends of this spectrum, is that it forces women to have to play the extremes as well.  If we’re with overly sexual guy, we have to put the guard up (which, in turn, makes us come across like a prude or not interested in physical connection/chemistry).  If we’re with asexual guy, (and we’re interested), we come across like a friggin’ sexual predator, just trying to get a little bit of interest going…

Where are the guys who know how to use appropriately flirtatious touch to communicate a physical attraction without mauling you, creeping you out or making you feel like an androgynous decoration?

No Information

One of my biggest pet peeves with online profiles are the ones where the guy puts zero information on there, but then says something like, “Anything you wanna know – just ask” or “Ask me anything, and I’ll answer.”

I’ll tell you what I want to know… ANYthing!?  The entire point of having an online profile is that you get to provide information about who you are and what you’re looking for, to prospective partners.  If all I cared about was seeing muscled men with no details about their personalities – I could go pick up men off of Harwin…

I can find more details about a wicker patio set on Craigslist than I can of hundreds of men online – men who, by way of reminder, have PAID to ‘advertise’ themselves here.  To prove that I’m not exaggerating – I literally took (and I clocked it) five minutes and went in search of profiles with little to no information in the “My Story” portion.  In five minutes, I found three:

I DO wanna know more.  I wanna know ANYthing.

Oh, I’ll send you a message, alright.  The message will be my silence.  Can you decipher that?

Really?  Why did he even bother to CREATE a profile?

I wish there were a search filter on these sites for “stupid.”

So there’s your random line-up of suggestions (read: complaints) about the not-so-fair sex.  I’d like to say it’ll be the last… but… as long as men are strange, I’ll be here to broadcast the list of failings…

(AAaaaaaand…she loses half of her audience).

Tell you what – in the interest of fairness, I will write a post later this month on the things that WOMEN do, which drive me crazy. So, stay tuned long enough and I’ll offend every possible people group.

Over and out, peeps.