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Archive for September, 2012

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:

http://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.


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Line ‘Em Up & Keep ‘Em Comin’…

Before we get to another winner’s circle ‘episode,’ I’d just like to say THANK YOU to my readers for spreading the word and helping me get my blog out there!

Stats
As of this morning, it’s being read in 22 countries…unbelievable!  (And what’s up with my Canada contingent?  You guys are wicked awesome, ehh!)   And yes… even though my logical mind tells me that at least half of these are accidental clicks by people who don’t even read English and they probably curse my name and call me some kind of American slur before zooming off to another more interesting website, I choose to let the fantasy part of my brain imagine that there really are people in Malawi who actually care about the dating life of this single mama… what can I say.  I dream big.

Alright.  Now that we’ve got my falsely-inflated ego up and running,
let’s dash all hope back to the ground with another disturbing group of online options.

Roll tape.

Submitted by my friend, Jen

I felt like we should hit the ground running – and what does that better than elf ears?
The girl who sent me this photo actually said, “I’m now adding ‘elf ears’ to my list of dealbreakers.”  Hahaha!  How often are you gonna hear THAT phrase?
But, I don’t know, Jen…the delicate filigreed headpiece and long flowing locks are SO masculine – you sure you won’t give him a chance?  Your lego-loss.  (yes…yes I did).


 

Did this guy just ask me to pick him up…from the hospital?  Yes.  That happened.
Now, for those of you thinking…”maybe he’s a Doctor!?”…read on.  Definitely no doctor.  At least none I’d want operating on me…
Besides…if you were a doctor, and let’s say you needed the ride because you rode your bike to work to save the environment (trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here), don’t you think you’d MENTION that?
So, with the limited information I had…all I could do was picture me fleeing the scene with an escaped mental ward patient.


 

Is there a store in Houston that exclusively sells see-through zebra-striped shirts, wife beaters and jeans with the “whispered” distressed look?  This is like this guy’s uniform.  In the written part of his profile he said he had “great style.”  These MUST be the “before” photos.

 


Well, I take disappointment with 2% milk, so…

What is a “total energy system?”
It sounds like something he’s selling.  Like a complete home gym.  No, wait…that’s a total body system.
Maybe he’s an electricity broker?  Then again…..uh-NO.


 

Submitted by my friend, Jennifer

And every day, you must be alone.  Very alone.

I can’t think of a worse possible way to make yourself attractive to women, than by holding a video game controller and superimposing cheesy text atop the photo that lets us know you have no intention of growing up.  If I want a boy, trapped in a one-too-many-trays-of-bagel-bites man’s body… I know right where to find him.  Thanks.


 

How many families does this guy plan to have?  It’s starting to sound a little “Yearning for Zion.”

 


“Look, Nagini, I got you a special snack… he’s a little nervous, but just talk sweetly to him.
‘So-o-o-oft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur’…”

And, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t address the photo in its entirety –
– unhealthy long man hair – check
– beret with a Warner Bros. character embroidered on it – check
– strange assortment of what I can only assume are bomb-making ingredients on the counter behind him – check
– nutcracker that you KNOW he keeps up year-round – check
– pre-staged cultic animal sacrifice setup – check
It’s everything you want in an online photo.

 


I looked up “creepy” in the dictionary and this was the illustration.
Apparently if you use a sexually charged handle along with a child’s photo, and then for the picture you insert in your message to me, you use what I can only assume is gay porn – that’s a surefire way to win this heterosexual mother’s heart.
I have to go take a shower now.

 


Usually the phrase, “Wow, where to begin!” is an entry into more discussion.  Nope.  Not for this guy.  That IS his story.
I guess it’s good, though…it gives me a lot to think about while I’m being stared at on our first date.  I mean,…..ideally.

 


Reasons why you’d post this for your profile photo:
– you want to let me know right off the bat that you can’t drive, so I’m going to have to pick you up (hey!  Maybe THIS is hospital guy!??)
– you think the black cast and dead toenail gives off a cool goth vibe.
– you think a broken bone shows vulnerability and a ‘sensitive side’ – CERTAINLY not your own probable stupidity or klutziness.
– this IS the most attractive angle/part of your body…hmmm…

 


I feel sorry for his little girl, if she ever sees this.  Even the car got all caps…

 


Ladies, THIS is what you could wake up to every morning.  Jesus on the cross and black duck lips.  Yum.

(Obligatory Disclaimer:  I’m not a duckface racist.  I have no more problem with black duck lips over any others.  Red and yellow, black and white, they are mood-killers in my sight.)

 


Did he misspell ‘joke?’ or ‘jock?’
Either way – if your entire story is about being a used car dealer…I think I’ll pass.
And the 1940s upholstery inspired ensemble isn’t helping.  And that’s no jok.

 


Lest you think he took the not-so-subtle cues I was lobbing over the booty-call fence, …he did not.  He messaged me again with all the ‘reasons’ why I should reconsider.  (For the sake of keeping this blog relatively family friendly, I couldn’t post that part.  But just trust me that I know ALL there is to know about his… well…yeah…there was definitely a “brown bag foul” called on this scene.)


 

Wow…this is such blatant peacocking.  Do men really think this junk works?  “Ooooh!  Look at the shiny and expensive gold jewelry!  He must have money… (and OBVIOUSLY excellent taste….and exquisite grammar).  I shall date him posthaste!”
Sheesh.
If they’re going to insist on putting out the proverbial red cape to entice the bull, at the very least they could use something that might make some movement in the right direction… gift certificates to the local Day Spa?  Pictures of your framed doctorate?  a note from your mother saying that you treat her well, but aren’t suffocatingly close?

 


Well, this is a match made in heaven – because I DO, in fact, want to live.
On second thought…’match made in heavenMIGHT not have been the best choice of words…


 

Submitted by my friend, Jennifer

I thought we’d end on a high note.  And when I say “END”…..

This guy was actually quite considerate – he is telling me RIGHT from the beginning, what I’d be getting myself into should we date.  Sure, there’ll only be one date.  But, it’s gonna be a storybook fantasy…
My what a pale face you have… “the better to freak you out with, my dear”
And, my what red lips you have… “the better to drink your blood and not have it look out of place, my dear”
And, my what a shiiiiiiiny knife you have… “the better to cut up your body into hundreds of untraceable pieces with, my dear”

SO….yeah.  I’m not sure there are any words at this point that could make any of this more palatable.

For those of you in happy relationships, go hug your significant other and count your lucky stars that you’ve found love.
For those of you on the hunt…sorry to bring you to the precipice of discouragement and misery.  But don’t jump JUST yet…
If only because there are more ‘gems’ to come.  And if I can take you deeper into that dark place, well… I’ve done my job.


Love for Hire

I was talking with a friend about the similarities between dating and interviewing people to hire.  As we were discussing the pros and cons of the interview process, he said, “I wish, instead of interviewing people, I could just have them complete one project.  If they do it well, great!  They’re hired.  If they muck it up, it’s a no go.”  (I’m paraphrasing.)

SO – of course, as you may have already suspected – the gears in my head started spinning about how to appropriate this idea for my dating needs.  Always the opportunist. 

Frankly, I’m considering implementing a new system where a guy who’s interested in me, rather than meeting me for drinks, can  complete a project in or around my home, and I’ll assess his relational worthiness based on his work.

Extreme Makeover dating.  I’m telling you…it’s the next big thing.  Watch out Bachelorette.  I’m coming full-guns-blazing with my crew of handimen and my committment to finding love.

Just think about it – there won’t be any of the contrived, inorganic awkwardness that comes with meeting someone you’ve just met online, when he’s installing cabinetry. 
Gone are the days of nervous first dates.  Welcome to the relationship probationary world of home repair.

You can tell so much about a man based on his handiwork. 

What kind of project does he choose? 

Put a hook in my wall to hang my kid’s painting…feed me for a day.  Custom design and install a Sarah Jessica Parker worthy closet…feed me for a lifetime.  (Am I losing you with the mixed metaphors?) 
Perhaps there could even be a points system based on the level of expertise and time required to complete a project. You know – satisfactory installation of a ceiling fan earns you two rounds of drinks this Friday.  Re-landscaping my entire yard…in the Houston heat – gets you Saturday night dinner, a show and a sizeable goodnight kiss.

Does he bring his own tools?  And what caliber are they? 

This tells me not only if he’s cheap, but whether he recognizes and values quality when he sees it!  It also speaks to preparedness and planning, which, as you all know, are sexy qualities for this single mama.

Does he do a quick and shoddy job or does the take time to do it right? 

What a perfect test for our future relationship.  Is he more interested in a “wham, bam, your towel bar will fall out of the wall after a week, thank you ma’am” kinda scenario?  Or is he going for the anchor-it-securely-to-the-stud sort of partnership?

Does he clean up his mess? 

I’m not JUST trying to escape the slob-like living conditions of bachelordome.  I’m also seeing… is he thoughtful and considerate enough to THINK to clean up his workspace?  That points to his caring nature, and ultimately to his facility with romance.

This kind of screening process will eliminate the guys who aren’t serious relationship material, AND get you that new garbage disposal you’ve had your eye on for months.

Play your cards right and you may even get some hardwood floors…
But that’s only for the seasoned dater.

And for those guys who aren’t “handy with tools” (stop…just stop), there are myriad other options for project work.

– Automotive repair.  (I honestly think I might marry someone who fixed my car…)
– Techy/nerdy help – (wireless routers, installing printer drivers, dropping wire – oh my…)
– Web/Computer/IT assistance – Swoon…
You get the idea.  Heck – he can go grocery shopping for me and be halfway to lifelong affection.

If a guy can prove himself in a well-done project, he’s earned his way to the next rung of dating.  Plus, I’ve weeded out the stroppy and half-hearted men who aren’t ready for the dedication and hard work required to make a relationship sing.

So, grab whatever tools you’ll need to make the cut, and I’LL be the stud-finder.


Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a Bestseller

Several friends told me I “had” to read this book, “Become Your Own Matchmaker” by Patti Stanger.

I don’t know what it says about me that they think I need literary help in my dating endeavors, but…nonetheless I read it.  Turns out, (as you may have guessed), that about 50% of it was stuff I already knew and the other half I disagreed with.  (But then, are you surprised?)  Really makes me think I need to write a book.  Apparently you can be a bestselling author by writing a bunch of common sense relationship advice interspersed with your own unique ideas, even if they’re based in nothing other than your sheer personal opinion.  Here are some of the dating rules she made…that I’ve either already broken, fully plan on breaking in the future or just flat out think are dumb.

– Don’t ever initiate conversation online

At LEAST half of my dates have come from me initiating communication with a guy online.  Isn’t the whole point of taking the search to an online venue, that you’re embracing the deliciously postmodern era of dating where men and women can equally initiate contact?

I don’t think that by being the first person to say hi (or “wink” or “flirt” or whatever that site’s cheesy equivalent is), I’m giving up my position of femininity or lowering my worthiness of pursuit.  I am ALL FOR a man to pursue a woman.  I love this idea – always have.  But, if I find a profile of a guy online that piques my curiosity – should I do nothing, hoping that he’ll stumble across mine among the 1,000s out there and contact me?  All I want to do is put myself on his radar.

If you think about it – this is the virtual equivalent of going to a bar.  Just by putting yourself in the same space as a single guy, you’re putting yourself on his map.  Later she’ll talk about doing a “5 Second Flirt” when you’re out at a mixer/bar/restaurant and then waiting for the guy to ‘bite.’  Isn’t that all I’m doing by saying hi first online?  After that, he is free to chase.  Nay – invited to!  And most quality guys do.

– Don’t opt  for less than dinner for your first meeting.

I ABSOLUTELY disagree with this.  I will NOT go out to dinner with a guy I’ve never met.  I’ll do coffee or drinks or maybe lunch.  That’s it.  I think she’s exactly right about coffee being an audition.  But what’s the matter with that?  Isn’t that what dating is about?  I’m auditioning guys for the role of partner/boyfriend/lover/husband.  And they’re doing the same!  I am perfectly fine being auditioned.  And I don’t mind if another girl was there before me and another is coming afterward.  I know what I bring to the table and I’m confident.  If he chooses one of them over me, then I’ve lost nothing – we weren’t meant to be anyway since he was obviously looking for someone different for the “part.”  Auditioning is EXACTLY what I’m doing.  And I’m fine with that.

The idea of going out to dinner with someone who I haven’t yet interacted with in person sounds like the first circle of hell.  Being trapped for that long without any real map of who this guy is, other than the “on paper” persona he’s created online (which we ALL know is “always 100% true…”) is a huge gamble.

What if…(and the following have all happened to me) – he is much more overweight than he indicated?  What if he has really bad teeth?  What if he has awful breath?  What if he makes uber lame jokes and then laughs awkwardly at them?  What if he does that uncomfortably long staring thing?  What if he answers all your questions with short clipped one-word answers, thereby giving you nothing to work with to create engaging conversation?  What if he smells (and not in a good way)?

I know that I must sound harsh, but my time is SO limited.  Between 2 jobs, 2 children and church and volunteer work, my time to go on dates is precious little.  I do not want to waste 2+ hrs on someone who I know within the first few minutes is not going to be a good match.  I’d much rather be out 45 minutes and a cup of tea or a beer.  That’s an acceptable sacrifice for a flopped audition.

– 5 second flirt

This one cracks me up more than any of the others.  This is one of her infamous tips.  The 5-second flirt.  Sounds great, right?

Yeah…for Ted Bundy maybe.

Here’s the thing.  I tried this.  And I’m here to tell you that a true 5 seconds is a friggin’ eternity.  I think it’s actually longer than the lifespan of a mayfly…but don’t quote me.

Staring at someone for 5 entire seconds, without breaking the gaze, is essentially telling them you have plans for them that night that include them ending up in small pieces scattered in your rose garden.  If a guy held eye contact with me for 5 whole seconds, the creepiness factor would be so high he would’ve killed any chance of further flirting.  And when I say “killed…”

I suppose it’s one thing if you’re in a dark bar where there are tons of singles looking for a romantic connection.  But, when I imagine this happening in daylight, in line at the prepared foods section at Whole Foods, …it kinda makes me want to have a bag boy walk me to my car… just in case.

Before reading this book, I’d already adopted my own version of this idea, which is just to make eye contact with a cute guy and hold it just ever so slightly longer than I’m really comfortable with – just to let him know that it’s not an accident.  Then I smile and go back to what I was doing.  My method works.  Well…it WILL work… someday.

Hmmm…

– Don’t ever pay

“Masculine energy,” huh?  I thought it gave off the “I’m a secure non-gold-digging woman energy.”  Guess I was wrong.

I agree with the idea that the guy should pay.  Maybe it’s being blindly traditional, but I just think it sets a tone of respect and him acknowledging that you/I are worthy of being taken care of.  It’s sweet.

But – I always sincerely offer to help out when the bill comes.  I think this comes, in part, from talking with so many men whose number one complaint is about finding women online who are looking for a wealthy guy to help them out of debt and into a life of opulence.

I don’t want him to think I NEED him to pay.  So, by offering to pay and then (hopefully), him insisting to, it shows HIM that I’m able to and not a gold-digger, and it shows ME that he is a gentleman.  Win-win.

And I’m not even gonna TOUCH that hunter/gatherer bit… c’mon now, Patti…

– Don’t talk about funny dating stories

Really??  You’re gonna take that away from me?  That’s my JAM!

In this age of internet dating, there’s such a rich collection of conversation material, that I actually think this makes a great topic for a first date.  Look, you’re already both a little nervous…what’s the best cure for that?  Laughter!  And if you met online, chances are that you each have stories of either dates gone wrong or bizarre profiles you’ve run across, and sharing those does a few things:

–       it provides levity,

–       as you’re talking about your experiences, it gives your dates small clues/snippets as to the kind of person you are based on the kinds of things you like/don’t like from online dating

–       it breeds familiarity by leveling the playing field a bit.

I have talked about the online dating scene with all of my dates.  It’s an easy go-to topic that’s a shared interest and is entertaining…I think those conversational benefits outweigh the slight possibility that my dating life will intimidate him.  I mean…hello – we’re both obviously on the dating scene – that’s how we FOUND each other.

I could pick apart different parts of the book as well, but who has the time?  What with writing my OWN treatise…

I suppose all I need to do now is sit back and wait for some snotty blogger to pick IT apart.  It’s the circle of authorship.  I’m glad to be a part of it.