#youdoyou

Don’t Sweat the Rejection & the Air Quote Date

As I sit listening to a hair metal classics playlist, I am a little nervous about this week’s post. I feel like I really need to bring the funny. While my stories seemed hilarious shortly after they occurred, I am not so sure they hold up. Nevertheless, here are the stories, mostly true, for you enjoyment.

In the last installment, I discussed the profile and how to properly market yourself- in summary, you do you. Here’s why….at some point, if things go the way they should, you will be meeting some of these people in real life. If things go well, you could be spending some time with one (or more, whatever) of the lucky gents. Obviously, you are going to have to do you at some point. So, I think it’s less stressful to lead with that. You do you from the start, then you will know and they will know and you won’t have to worry about that whole “when they find out the truth” thing.

But being real is scary….

Yes, putting yourself out there is terrifying. Trust me, it took me a VERY long time to get to the point where I even considered it. Then it took me an even longer time to think about it. Then it took more time to do it. Then, I just said f’ it and dove in head first—this is kind of my approach to everything.  So how do you be real, risk the rejection, and not be destroyed every time? I have developed a motto that has served as a great reminder of why rejection is ok, survivable even, in part thanks to my dear friend and dating adviser, Shannon. That motto goes like this:

“Everyone is entitled to pursue their own happiness which may or may not include me.”

There you go. 

(Shannon has talked me through many dating frustrations. She is a guru. Her words can be trusted.)

This is the truth. Think about it, if you meet someone, you go out with them, and it’s just not there, do you want to continue wasting your time? No, you want to move on and try again. That doesn’t mean that rejection doesn’t sting a little or sometimes, hurt, but this truth removes the personal responsibility from you. As you will read in plenty of dating advice columns, not everyone will want what you’re offering. And that’s ok. Move on, don’t stop until it’s what you want!

Finally…

I have been divorced for a while now. I haven’t dated a lot (and for some years not at all.) This is why it was super exciting for some of my people when I decided to go for it! I feel pretty guilty about the times talk of my dating shenanigans dominated our connect group dinners. But it was also affirming because I knew my people were rooting for me and they believed I could go out there with confident expectation. Especially after the ‘accidental’ butt-graze hazing of my friend’s hubby to prepare me for the date as I looked at my friend with mortification, fearing the next place I was going to wake up would be the gravel road after she gave me a beat down.

I was safe.

“The Air Quote Date”

By this time I had begun conversations with potential dates via the Snatch.com messenger and text. One of the strangest experiences I had, mostly because I was being weird, was what I have since dubbed the “Air Quote Date.”

The “Air Quote Date” took place on a busy Saturday in the spring. Seriously though, every day is busy with a job and kids and at the time I think I was still working a side job so I was doing my best to squeeze in time with dates whenever. I was meeting up with “the DJ.” I named him that because he was a weekend DJ. This particular weekend he had a gig so we were meeting in between his set-up and before his show. Before the date we had some conversations via text and voice (like, on the phone, I know!) and he called me ‘doll.’ I’m pretty sure he referred to all women that way. I thought, ok, he has a hipster-y vernacular, I can roll with this—once again, my ‘I can make it work- attitude!’ Normally my inner feminist would find this annoying but I decided it was edgy and agreed to meet him. Even after he called me doll and also called me out for not initiating conversation and saying ‘you can flirt too you know!’

Oh, you want me to flirt?

Sooo, about that….I don’t like to pursue. I like to be pursued. Will I do it? Yes, depending on how much I want the thing I am pursuing. However, I can be a little relentless so I am doing us all a favor here. Also, on the flirting-yeah, not great at that. In addition, I am not one to flirt before I know if I like you. What good does that do? To me that seems dishonest and disingenuous. If we meet and I like you, then I will attempt flirtation but not before. I’m not into leading people on.

I met the DJ at a very busy spot in Norman since it was closer to his gig. I arrived first and there was very little seating. I found a small table crammed into a corner. He was running late. I can let that go since I am a habitually tardy person. (Sorry friends.) While I was waiting, a woman who was waiting for a to-go order asked if she could take the other chair and since he wasn’t there yet, I said yes. Thus began a very awkward date…..

He arrived to find the random woman at the table with me…it was awkward as he gave her with an annoyed glance until I spoke up. She took a seat somewhere else and he sat down. He was super tall….I commented on that multiple times. (awkward) We made small talk. I learned that he didn’t have a relationship with his children (strike 1!) who lived with their ‘crazy’ mothers (strike 1.5!) in other states.

Then he showed me a new app he was developing. His day job was some form of IT, so that made sense. Ok, an app, I was almost impressed! Buuuuuuut, it was a dating app….just like Snatch.com, only you could customize your profile pic with a frame announcing your favorite sports team. Suddenly I was worried that I was in the middle of a very misleading sales pitch….timeshare cabin anyone??

He explained all of the cool features that his dating app had while I pretended to think it was awesome. And for some reason, I kept making air quotes with my hands when I was talking. Maybe it was the swirl I drank, I don’t know, but eventually I noticed I was doing it. Me being me, I commented on it. “I don’t know why I keep doing that!!” I tried to stop but I just kept doing it! Eventually I tried sitting on my hands. As the date came to a close, he walked me to my car and we exchanged parting pleasantries and went on our way. He said, ‘thanks, I had ‘fun,’ with the air quotes…..and that was the end of that.

My theory of what went wrong when we were standing at the car he saw my ‘I’m dancing with Bernie’ button hanging from my visor. He was obviously a Republican. 

Why I didn’t want to date him anyway: I’m not big on guys who don’t parent their children. That says a lot about them as a person. Also, more than one crazy ex is too many. Also, the whole ‘doll’ thing turned out to be pretentious and annoying.

What I learned: I learned not to do air quotes like a person with hand Tourette’s on a date.

Things I am Overcoming!

Last week I mentioned that I would discuss some of my personal barriers that could be killing my dating game. During my story, some of those probably stood out. I might be too genuine. I might need to practice my flirt game. I am accepting tips on that!

While I try to throw them all out the window, I do have some expectations. Sometimes I don’t know if I am really willing to be tied down. I have standards. Maybe they are a little high? I am crazy insecure at times. That right there is my enemy numero uno. We can talk about that more later…

Next week: The Tale of the Bachelor in the Bathroom

P.S.I keep seeing this verse! Could be a good sign 😉

​For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:8 NLT

“Hey doll,wanna go for a spin? I have a HUGE record collection.”

Blueprints part 2

The profile … make the Mad Men proud!

The first awkward thing about online dating is creating the profile. Luckily, I know a thing or two about marketing, however, in lieu of “selling myself,” I choose to create the most genuine profile possible. I can write a good spin, but my #1 fear about this WHOLE thing was that I would meet someone in person and they would instantly be horrified by my weight. (I am a big girl…we’ll get to THAT later. P.S. Big girls deserve love too.)

 

The selfies and the torso shot…

 

So you upload the pics … on the subject of pics, some online dating experts recommend certain types of pics; a selfie, a full body shot, one of you doing something adventurous (this explains all of the skiing pics) one in formal wear and one with friends or family. These say, look! I’m fun and I know people! Most some people don’t like taking pics of themselves or writing about themselves. This results in a lot of weird, boring and unattractive profiles. Furthermore, these only give you the very basic info about a person—like the spine of a book. You have to crack that sucker open to see what’s inside!

 

Next, meet your matches. Trying to initiate and sustain a conversation can be challenging. I tend ask questions to find out information about a person that would give me clues to their nature. This was my approach to chatting up potentials online. Maybe not the best route to take since I was very businesslike-maybe more like a Socratic interrogation and less flirtation. But I didn’t want to lead anyone on until I decided that I actually wanted to meet them in person.

 

Talk Nerdy to Me

 

Yep, that was my headline. That coupled with one of my pics (nervously because he’s scary!) cozied up to Darth Vader set the stage for the type of gent I was seeking. I learned that a wide variety of dudes like nerdy girls, and it also lead to plenty of ‘dirty librarian’ jokes (and wishful thinking.)

 

I discovered I have no patience for people who don’t want to be real.

 

“No, I am not coming over for dinner at your apartment on the first date. “

 

“No, I am not going to ‘flirt’ (dirty talk) with a stranger. Get to know me first, then we can talk about my ‘curves.’ “

 

“You want a torso pic, sure why not! Send yours first!”

 

“Yes, I’m single, this is a dating site. Isn’t everyone?” (No, actually, no…)

 

“No, I don’t want to know who much money you make, but thanks for that info!”

 

Some of these guys are persistent and will try to wear you down. “Are you ready for me yet?” Like somehow I will just run out of other options and throw in the towel of resisting dangerous encounters because I can’t stand to be single another moment. Dude, ask some questions! Have a conversation! I don’t want to hear about how you “love to pamper your woman with back rubs and home cooked candle lit dinners followed by relaxing bubble baths” unless I am certain you are not an ax murderer. My friend, who used one of the previously mentioned sites frequented by library-loungers, said she would get messages that simply said *“fwb?” They couldn’t even put forth the effort of forming a complete sentence, let alone take the time to get to know someone. I can only imagine how great they must be in bed…a smart man knows that the way to a woman’s heart (and other parts too…ok) is through her BRAIN.

 

Stay tuned for the next installment including discussion about my own relationship barriers and the story of The Dude Who Called Me Doll aka the “Air Quote” date.

 

*fwb = friends with benefits


“Listen, I was wandering. Can I ask you a question? Uh… was your father a meat burgler? Here’s why I ask: because it looks like somebody stole two fine hams and shoved them down the back of your dress,” SNL’s Ladies’ Man.

Blueprints part 1

When approaching a problem, it’s good to do a little critical thinking and a lot of research. At least, that’s my approach to problem-solving. The first step in solving the not-dying-alone problem was to decide who I would rather spend my golden year evenings in the porch rocking chair with. My first step also should have been prayer, but my natural brain always wants to figure things out on its own. That’s what friends are for. (More on that later when I talk about The Panel.) They remind you to pray and join you as well.

Strangely, this was easier said than done! I don’t really have an ideal notion of the man I want to share my life with, but I do know that I want it to be someone worth giving up allllll this freedom for. I also really, really know what I don’t want. 

(There’s always an exchange…right? Freedom for cold pillow, etc.)

It starts with a lot of self-scrutiny. And asking your friends (aka research- crowd sourcingok?) What do I have to offer? What can I give in return? What are my expectations?

Side notein dating and love, expectation is a danger word! You cannot have expectation without communication! Write it down, remember it. Ignoring this rule is disaster.

So, make your list. Decide who you want to eat brunch with every Sunday and pray that dude into existence! Not like a Weird Science man-making machine or anything, just let God know where your thoughts are. Don’t put things on your list like height requirements or hair color. You can’t limit your pool like that! Any lasting relationship is not going to be based on looks anyway, so be real. That stuff is for youngsters still ready to procreate. There’s a reason why most of us are prettier in our youth. It’s science.

While I am completely in love with men like Mark Ruffalo (he’s an activist, he’s intelligent, he’s a family man and a hottie) and John Mayer (I don’t care if you like him, when he plays guitar you melt, admit it!) I’m more interested in men with a sense of humor who can write a complete sentence and have an intellectual conversation, so these are at the top of my list. I also appreciate honesty (most of us do) and kindness, so there’s that and so on. My list is long, and some parts of it are not deal breakers, but the fundamentals are.

Once you have your list, don’t be married to it. You want a person, not a Disney character, right? Be open-minded. I take this approach, maybe to a fault. I might meet someone I have nothing in common with and go into a date thinking, yeah, I could make this work. This may not be the best plan, but it’s how I roll. Caution to the wind, I will lead with my mind open!

Next, decide what won’t work for you. There are no-brainers, but there are also things you might not think of, so really consider what you want out of life so you can make sure you wind up with someone on the same page. If you really want to spend your golden years volunteering at soup kitchens and knitting little caps for newborns, you probably wouldn’t jive with a jet-setting guy with mansions in his eyes. So, be realistic but also, don’t sell yourself short! (For more on this see my post Hanging on the Clearance Rack.)

Then research where to search for this magical gem of a human. This is the golden question! Is it in the grocery store over polished fruit? Or in the pew four rows from the pulpit at church? How about the carpool lane at the kid’s school? Not anymore folks….all your friends (and dates) live (and love) online now.  The first place I tried was a very well-known matching making site. I’m going to call it Snatch.com, to avoid any legal ramifications for what I am about to say next.

It’s whack.

That’s it. Just whack. On Snatch.com (and most dating sites) you have to pay a little to use all the features. To me that meant people were serious about finding a real connection. This was not the actual case. While I did meet some nice fellows on Snatch.com, none of those interactions went anywhere. (More about those when I get to the stories.) If you want to know which sites all of the unemployed dudes who sit at public computers in the library all day use, private message me and I will tell you so you can avoid them.

Next week: the profile, selfies and torso shots, and talking nerdy…

Maybe Frankenfurter had the right idea!