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Archive for November, 2012

Getting a Facelift

Dear Readers,

I want to take the opportunity with today’s post, to respond to some criticism my blog and I have come under in the last few weeks.  A recent conversation led to more conversations and finally, with the (my) realization that there IS, in fact, real merit to some of the complaints.   And I, as much as I hate to admit it, have some repair work to do.

Admittedly, for this approval-hungry ENFJ (Meyer’s Briggs Inventory) and high “I” (DISC Inventory) and “Sanguine (Dolphin)” (Personality Profile Inventory) girl, …receiving criticism, regardless of how truthful it may be, is quite jarring.  …Even painful.  So… I’ve given a lot of thought to the reproach I received, to my reaction to the negative feedback and ultimately, to my goals for this blog and my “voice” as I report on the world of dating.

Here are the comments/criticisms I’ve heard, with my reactions to each.

  1. “The blog is too mean. “

This one came as a shock.  Here I thought that the snarky edge in my written “voice” was just part of my blog ‘character’ that I use to convey my thoughts.  But, as I’ve been reflecting on this idea, I’ve had to admit that I HAVE taken a slight turn toward the harsh – more edge than I want to have.  I DO want to have a sassy spunk.  I DO want to have a sarcastic bite to my tone.  But, I don’t want to be downright hurtful or mean.  One friend said that the snark was so thick, that people couldn’t see my heart.  And, while this isn’t exactly an inspirational, feel-good blog, I do want it to be known that I HAVE a heart!

And so – to that end, I’m making a commitment to dial back the snarkiness ever so slightly, so that I can bring the blog back to a place of sarcastic, but not hateful humor.

2.  You hate men.”

Ok, this one cracks me up.  I hate men?  I’m SEARCHING for a man!  The whole POINT of being online and going on these dates is to find a man for myself.  I think men are great.  Hellooooo…I want one of my very own!  I don’t hate them.  I DO hate the difficulties of navigating the differences between the sexes, the way they behave and communicate,…but that’s also part of the fun – delving into the puzzle and learning how to be in relationship with people of the opposite sex.   I am certainly far from being a man-hater. I’m more like a man-hunter.  And along the way, I’m having a lot of fun befriending other men.

     3.    “You’re not explicit enough about your Christian faith.”

This one is on purpose.  I want the blog – and my life – to be accessible to as many different people and different belief systems as possible.  And I want the fact that I put my faith in Christ, to come across in the ‘between the lines’ of my life, not in me being preachy in my writing.  In the course of writing this blog and going out with men from dating sites, etc., I’ve met some AMAZING people who span the spiritual continuum from atheists to (as my atheist friend calls them), “hard core Christians.”  And I SO value the friendships of the people who believe differently than I do, that I don’t want anything in the way of that.  That’s NOT to say that I am ashamed of my beliefs or have watered them down to be friends with people who aren’t where I am.  I still go to church.  I still pray.  I’m still a theology nerd.  I still struggle with my own spiritual journey and understanding what it really means to be a follower of Christ in this broken world.

But, the blog isn’t a place where I need to plant my spiritual flag.  And that’s not how I operate.  I try to live my life authentically and in doing so, hope that the light of Christ in me will shine – without me having to SAY it.

I actually have a post in my drafts folder right now, discussing the difficult aspect in dating, of HOW to see if you line up with someone on this front… so, stay tuned.  The post is not, in any way, written to persuade,…but only to bring to light how hard it is to bring UP this topic on first or second dates… trust me…it’s not exactly a sexy talking point.

    4.    “You do too many ‘XYZ’ kind of posts and not enough ‘ABC’ ones”
             Or “Who is your target audience ANYway?”

Let me begin by saying that I want to accomplish ALL of the following:

–       General comedic entertainment

–       Dating/Relationship Advice

–       Creating solidarity with fellow women AND men in the dating trenches

–       Storytelling about my own and others’ experiences in the dating world

–       Discussion about men, women and relationships

–       (once my website is launched) – Dating Services (help with profile writing, links to photographers, etc., and even an “Ask Sarah” column…more on all this later)

Unfortunately… I can’t seem to please everyone all the time.  But I CAN admit that I sometimes get on ‘kicks’ where I neglect one facet of the blog.  I’d like to have posts about my personal dating life, online dating in general, relationships and of course, continue the “winner’s circle” editions with the (literally) ridiculous photos.  But, I am going to try to diversify more, as well as include more of the GOOD stories from my dating life.

To be honest, the majority of my dates are quite lovely.  And I plan to talk about those more, while hopefully keeping my sassy ‘flavor.’

In fact… in the advent season, I’m going to be writing a mini-series:  “The 12 Dates of Christmas” in which I’ll go on 12 dates between Thanksgiving and Christmas, where the men know ahead of time that I’ll be blogging about the dates afterwards – good, bad and everything in the middle.  In fact, one guy has already agreed, but on the condition that he write his OWN interpretation of the date and have me link to HIS blog!  It’s gonna be fun.  Again – stay tuned.

Basically – consider this a face-lift.  Everything you love about the blog – the snarky frivolity and sassy take on dating – will remain.  I’m just going to take some of the biting edge out of my “voice.”  Be patient with me, as finding this balance sometimes seems nearly impossible.  And thank you to those of you who’ve stuck with me.

Lastly – if you know someone who’s read the blog and was offended, or if you’ve felt that way – I encourage you to hang in there and see if it doesn’t soften a bit and nestle right back into your reading/entertainment sweet spot.


I Hate to be the Wearer of Bad News…

You all remember Raul?  If not…by way of refresher, he’s a guy I dated – it didn’t work out, and I wrote a blog post about our “break-up.”  You can check it out here.

Well, Raul and I have remained friends and it’s a great friendship!  I asked him for advice, the other day, on what to wear for a date this weekend, and he sent me a mini tome on the matter.  So, naturally – I thought I’d post it.

I figured, the women can read it to get some insight into what guys think about how they prepare for and look on dates, and guys can read it to see if it’s an accurate representation.   I’d love some commentary below… I mean…do you other guys REALLY agree that you want a girl to come out “UN-spanxed??”  Can it BE?  I’m a doubting, spanx-wearing Thomas…
Convert me.

Enjoy!


I have no idea if what I’m saying is worthwhile or representative of most guys – it’s just my sole opinion, but I’ll generalize as if I’m speaking on behalf of the entire US male population.

OK, here’s the bottom line:  99% of the time, we couldn’t care less what you wear.  Really, it doesn’t matter.  Whether you’re wearing a miniskirt or a canvas sack, we probably think it would look best on our bedroom floor.  There you go.  Plus, we won’t remember it the next day, anyhow, unless the impression was a really bad one.  How do you avoid a bad choice?  Follow these guidelines:

  1. Wear something appropriate.  This is the number one – and probably the only – consideration.  Fortunately, it is also the easiest.  We certainly don’t expect you to obsess over what you wear to meet us; using your normal judgment in what’s appropriate should be simple enough.  After all, we’ll hardly give a moment’s notice to what you’re wearing unless it’s totally, wildly inappropriate.  If we ask you out to a honky-tonk dive bar, don’t show up in a ball gown.  If we ask you out to a nice French restaurant, don’t show up in sweatpants.  This isn’t rocket science.  But it IS probably the only time we’ll make a judgment about YOU based on your clothing.  If you show up in blue jeans and a t-shirt for the symphony, we’re embarrassed.  We make certain assumptions about your background/upbringing/education, and will give serious thought before inviting you to something nice again.This also includes activity-appropriate clothing if the date involves a fair amount of movement (dancing, bowling, batting cage, shark wrestling, etc.), wear something that allows you to do that activity comfortably – if you knew what the date involved, we don’t want to hear you say “I can’t because my skirt is too tight / dress is too long.”
  2. Wear something you are comfortable in.  This means two things:  First, don’t wear something that will cause you to complain (I’m cold, I’m hot, this scratches, my feet hurt, this purse is heavy – please hold it, etc.).  In fact, once you are dressed, look at yourself in the mirror and repeat a few times, “I will not complain on this date.”  Good, now you’re ready to go.  (OK, I’m exaggerating….a little.Second, “comfortable” means wear something you are confident in.  If you are visibly self-conscious, that’s a distraction.  If you are constantly tugging down your skirt, pulling up your strapless top, talking about the fact that other people are staring at you, etc., that’s a distraction that makes you look nervous or self-absorbed.And yes, I’ve had the occasional date that seemed derailed by what the girl wore and how it made her feel (inappropriate to the venue, uncomfortable for the planned activity, inappropriate for the weather, and yes, someone who complained about her feet hurting every five minutes (so why did she wear those shoes?).  I just think that the early dates should be as distraction-free as possible, because you want to focus on each other.  But I could always be wrong.
  3. Don’t show up all spanxed out.  This is false advertising.  I know, girls don’t want to hear that, but it’s true.  We want to see you for you, not the tucked-in, trussed-up, ratcheted-down, corseted, lifted, sculpted, Wonder Bra-ed version of you that does not, in fact, exist in real life.  That doesn’t mean thrown on some shapeless, frumpy, moo-moo as an alternative…it just means that whatever you choose should be an honest reflection of who you are.  If you want to be appreciated for who you are (and who doesn’t?), then don’t be afraid to show up that way.  We understand that no one is perfect, and we don’t expect perfection (lest you expect it of us!).
  4. Don’t wear your “dating uniform.”  To quote Sarah, —  “TRY.  That’s it.  Effort.  [Men] love a [woman] who gives THOUGHT to us.  Effort is at the root of romance.”  We don’t want to feel like we’re just date #572…where you put on your “1st date” go-to outfit, pick up your lunch pail, and go to work.
  5. Calibrate the “revealing” aspect of your outfit to where you want the date to go.  If you’re not sure yet, err on the side of demure.  I did not say err on the side of the masculine (for most women, pantsuits are as difficult to pull off successfully as very short haircuts), just go a little more conservative if you don’t want him to focus exclusively on “those” thoughts (remember, he’s a guy, those thoughts will be there even if you show up in a burqa).  If you don’t want to be complaining to your girlfriend that he never made eye contact above your neckline, then don’t where something that makes him spend the entire dinner hoping for something to slip out.  I’ve had girls show up for dinner at a restaurant in VERY revealing clothing, and I almost think that’s a test – if I glance down, I lose.But if you do think you want the date to go there, then anything that leans towards descriptions like “short”, “tight”, “low cut”, or “see-though” (or my favorite – all of the above) is probably a good thing, as long as it manages to remain at least somewhat classy/tasteful, and does not cause others around you to think “who let that trollop in here?”  If meeting his parents for the first time, avoid anything with two or more of the aforementioned adjectives – remember, one is fine, two or more, and you’re “that tart that Raul brought over for dinner”.  Not good.

Well, them’s the rules.


Aside from doling out advice for the women of online dating, Raul enjoys traveling, cooking, fly fishing, scuba diving, reading and, in general, getting krunk.
He currently works as a steel drum virtuoso in an internationally-recognized Calypso band.”


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

…isn’t it?

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.


*-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…


Good Girls Gone Crazy

SO…. yesterday, we talked about this trend of women actually liking men who make themselves seemingly unavailable.  And the worst part of it is this:  it perpetuates the cycle by validating to men on the dating scene that yes, they can indeed win women by being jerks.  UGH!  Once again, we women are sabotaging ourselves.

How did this start?  Why do they do it?  And what’s an honest, ‘say-how-you-really-feel’ girl to DO?

Let’s use today’s post to consider the many varied and estupido reasons that women would be drawn to a meanie.

A couple of my personal theories…  And then (since it IS voting day), we’ll put it to a poll.

A.  The self-loathing theory.

A large number of women (men too, come to think of it), have such little self-worth, that in some twisted turn of sub-conscious events, they seek out “proof” of their un-worthiness by only chasing after someone who’s treating them poorly or turns to the uninterested side, because that somehow validates what they already believe to be true.  Rather than face the cognitive dissonance of “I think I’m not worth much,” yet “he seems to like me,” they wait for a a guy to NOT like them, so they can remain in the belief that they’re not worth a better guy.  This is so sad.  And yet… I think it’s often the case.  I blame the terrorists.

B.  The Grass-is-Greener theory.

This one’s simple.  You have something you like, but because we’re self-absorbed people, we grow lazy/greedy and don’t do the work to cultivate the good thing.  So, it goes away.  But as soon as it’s gone, we realize we want what we now “can’t have.”  It’s the “can’t have” part that makes it so deliciously tempting, you see.  Like when you’ve finished your last bite of cake, but your friend still has a whole piece…and you REALLY want it.  We’re broken people.  We want what we can’t have.  Even if we had our chance to have it, and blew it.

C.  The In-The-Pocket Theory

This is a selfish, but oft-used plan to keep your options open.  It’s essentially putting every remotely viable guy into the “Duckie” category (from Pretty in Pink).
Unfortunately, this method of hedging their dating bets, is sanctioned….even suggested by dating ‘professionals.’  Acclaimed matchmaker and author, Patti Stanger, recommends always having a “Pair and a Spare.”  The idea is that you always have some less-than-my-prince guys in your back pocket to help you in your dating career/decisions.
(By the way, if you hadn’t already picked up on my disdain for her methods, you can read my review of her book, “Becoming Your Own Matchmaker” here.)

This “Pair and a Spare” should, according to her, include:  1. The Best Straight Guy Friend (“Harry” from “When Harry Met Sally”).  2.  The “Big Maybe” – this guy roughly meets your standards, but doesn’t thrill you.  Still, he’s enjoyable to hang out with as your second choice, and he’s not yet descended to the friend zone.  And the second part of the “pair” is 3.  The One You Really Like.  I guess, ostensibly, having the other two is supposed to help you not put all your eggs in the #3 basket, thereby putting you in a one-down power position.

Ridic.

D.  The Project Theory

We help create the distancing jerk and then insert our self in his life to help improve him.  This should be called the manipulative/controlling/passive-aggressive theory, but that seems semantically cumbersome.

You play the coy game to such a degree that the guy, in his frustration, backs off or lets go of you.  Then, you reassert interest in him in such a way that it seems like HE was the jerk, and then you can ‘save’ him.  And who doesn’t have a teensy bit of a savior complex in ’em?  This appeals to the nurturing manner in women.  We want to take care of our children, make our houses look nice, tend to the people in our lives and leave everyone a little happier, a little more ‘perfect’ than we found them.  But this is the ultimate recipe for future heartbreak, because the means not only aren’t justified by the end (a “perfect” guy), but they don’t even achieve the end, because they’re so manipulative that you either end up with a pissed off guy who doesn’t want to be controlled by you anymore, or you turn him into an emasculated doormat without opinions or passions.  Swoon.

E.   The “It’s Evolutionary, my dear Watson” theory

This theory rests on the notion that we women have a primal need to be protected – a desire for shelter and safeguarding.  And in a more primitive culture, we would be able to observe men displaying acts of physical strength to prove their merit on this front.  But, in our society where intellect and attitude are the new big rock and sheer force that take down the dangerous beast in our path, we want to see a man ‘show off’ his aggressive prowess, and we’re drawn to it.  The only problem is that, in our brokenness, we crave this to such an extent that we end up valuing meanness, confusing it for passion and protection, rather than seeking out thoughtfulness and a capacity for problem-solving where a man is intelligently defensive of us, rather than verbally or emotionally beating us up to win our cavewoman approval.

So, what say you?
Remember…it’s unAmerican not to vote… (or unCanadian… or unMalawian… or whatever lovely country you hail from).

VOTE!

And there are no non-swing states here,…no electoral college… your vote actually counts.  Well…to feed my curiosity, that is.    🙂


Bad Boys… Whatcha gonna do?

I’m very sad to report that, as much as I wish it weren’t true, it turns out girls really do like the bad boys.  
Well, not all girls, but more than I’d like to believe.  
And not the John Travolta a la Grease sorta bad boy… but…well – let me elaborate.

After much discussion with my guy friends, it really does seem that this trend exists:   Women are perversely drawn to a man who makes himself unavailable, insulting or just generally jerk-ish.  You know all those self-help books and conferences that teach men to win women by using underhanded compliment/insults? Or using her own insecurities against her conversationally to give them the upper hand of emotional power?  Well, I suppose, as much as I hate it, that they’ve tapped into some nugget of truth.  And it pains me to say so.

One of my guy friends has been making this assertion for a while, but I kept telling him, “that’s just a small slice of the female population.  It’s not a universal truth.”  But, the more he shows me text strings from girls he’s dating, the more I’m resignedly convinced.  Sigh with me, will you?

Here’s the setup (and yes – this is a true story.  One of many I’ve heard in the last couple weeks).  Two people go on a date and have a great time.  She tells him she really likes him and wants to hang out again.  In the next couple of days, he asks her out for a Friday night (she told him she was “free ALL weekend”).  Suddenly she’s all booked up for the weekend…and the apathetic text saying so comes in 5-6 hours after his initial question.  So, he graciously sends a text back saying, “No worries.  I’m guessing maybe you’re not that interested after all.  Best of luck.” Five minutes later, miraculously her schedule has opened right up, and she’s asking him, “what are you up to tonight?” and trying to make plans.  She wasn’t available when he was pursuing her, but as soon as he withdrew his affections, she wanted him back.

But, I still wasn’t convinced that this was the epidemic I now believe it to be.

Then I hung out with several guys who are currently on the dating scene, and we got to talking about this topic and they ALL had MULTIPLE stories just like this one!  Crazy…
Here I thought it was just the occasional woman (you know the one – self-esteem problems, daddy issues, uses men to validate her own worth) who played the game this way, but as my friends were talking, story after story was coming out of the woodwork to suggest this is a broader trend than I’d hoped.

As soon as a guy makes himself seemingly unavailable, the woman is compelled to change her tune and want him more.  And men who seem distant or mysteriously unobtainable, are that much more desired.  Conversely, when  a guy is honest and tells a woman how much he likes her, he risks (in the words of another one of my friends) “being thought of as wimpy or a doormat.  And then she loses interest.”  Is this really what we’ve become?

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, when the better part of the Western world was consumed with whether Bella would choose a werewolf with impulsivity issues or a bloodthirsty vampire…

But the naively romantic and optimistic inner Sarah wanted to believe that we were evolved enough to say how we really feel and own our thoughts and intentions genuinely.

And really, the biggest problem with women acting this way – is how it affects ME.
Because, after all – …it IS all about me.
When they behave this way, they solidify in mens’ minds that this is the way to play the game, and then they play it with women like ME, who just want an honest, genuine relationship!

By golly, the more I write, the angrier I get!

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll talk (I use the term “we” AWFULLY loosely, as I’ll be the only one pontificating…) about WHY women do this, and what we can do about it…for me. 
I mean…for women everywhere.


Bad Boys… Whatcha gonna do?

I’m very sad to report that, as much as I wish it weren’t true, it turns out girls really do like the bad boys.
Well, not all girls, but more than I’d like to believe.
And not the John Travolta a la Grease sorta bad boy… but…well – let me elaborate.

After much discussion with my guy friends, it really does seem that this trend exists:   Women are perversely drawn to a man who makes himself unavailable, insulting or just generally jerk-ish.  You know all those self-help books and conferences that teach men to win women by using underhanded compliment/insults? Or using her own insecurities against her conversationally to give them the upper hand of emotional power?  Well, I suppose, as much as I hate it, that they’ve tapped into some nugget of truth.  And it pains me to say so.

One of my guy friends has been making this assertion for a while, but I kept telling him, “that’s just a small slice of the female population.  It’s not a universal truth.”  But, the more he shows me text strings from girls he’s dating, the more I’m resignedly convinced.  Sigh with me, will you?

Here’s the setup (and yes – this is a true story.  One of many I’ve heard in the last couple weeks).  Two people go on a date and have a great time.  She tells him she really likes him and wants to hang out again.  In the next couple of days, he asks her out for a Friday night (she told him she was “free ALL weekend”).  Suddenly she’s all booked up for the weekend…and the apathetic text saying so comes in 5-6 hours after his initial question.  So, he graciously sends a text back saying, “No worries.  I’m guessing maybe you’re not that interested after all.  Best of luck.” Five minutes later, miraculously her schedule has opened right up, and she’s asking him, “what are you up to tonight?” and trying to make plans.  She wasn’t available when he was pursuing her, but as soon as he withdrew his affections, she wanted him back.

But, I still wasn’t convinced that this was the epidemic I now believe it to be.

Then I hung out with several guys who are currently on the dating scene, and we got to talking about this topic and they ALL had MULTIPLE stories just like this one!  Crazy…
Here I thought it was just the occasional woman (you know the one – self-esteem problems, daddy issues, uses men to validate her own worth) who played the game this way, but as my friends were talking, story after story was coming out of the woodwork to suggest this is a broader trend than I’d hoped.

As soon as a guy makes himself seemingly unavailable, the woman is compelled to change her tune and want him more.  And men who seem distant or mysteriously unobtainable, are that much more desired.  Conversely, when  a guy is honest and tells a woman how much he likes her, he risks (in the words of another one of my friends) “being thought of as wimpy or a doormat.  And then she loses interest.”  Is this really what we’ve become?

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, when the better part of the Western world was consumed with whether Bella would choose a werewolf with impulsivity issues or a bloodthirsty vampire…

But the naively romantic and optimistic inner Sarah wanted to believe that we were evolved enough to say how we really feel and own our thoughts and intentions genuinely.

And really, the biggest problem with women acting this way – is how it affects ME.
Because, after all – …it IS all about me.
When they behave this way, they solidify in mens’ minds that this is the way to play the game, and then they play it with women like ME, who just want an honest, genuine relationship!

By golly, the more I write, the angrier I get!

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll talk (I use the term “we” AWFULLY loosely, as I’ll be the only one pontificating…) about WHY women do this, and what we can do about it…for me.
I mean…for women everywhere.


10 Mistakes Every Guy Should Avoid – pt. 2

Let’s just pick right up in the barren wasteland where we left off, shall we?

6.  No punching.

Do I need to review the rules of behavior from Kindergarten playground days?
(Actually….. (strokes invisible Fu Manchu ‘stache)… that wouldn’t be a bad idea for a blog post… things you learned on the Kindergarten playground that apply to your dating life now.  So, I’ll work on the title, whatevs)

I don’t want to see you making your most menacing face, assuming the bully stance and capturing your clenched fist in the shot.  I see – no lie – at least one of these a week.

Did I miss some macabre memo where women want to see a guy’s “rage-y” side?  Last I heard, we liked when men were kind and sweet and used their hands to stroke our hair or rub our feet, not threaten abuse.  But, then, what do I know… perhaps they’re going for a Chris Brown sorta vibe?  (too soon…?)

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7.  Messaging a woman multiple times when she’s clearly not interested.

Look… I just don’t have the time to reply to every man who messages me.

If I think I’m interested, I’ll write back.

If I’m not interested, but his message is sweet or charming, I’ll often write back.

But, if I’m not interested at all, I move on.  No time to waste.

Why do guys think that if a woman hasn’t written back, that the best course of action is to keep bugging her?

Sure, there’s something to be said for persistence (maybe TWO messages), but when you just can’t stop… we call that a stalker.

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8.  Photos of you with your car.

Unless you are an auto-mechanic, a car salesman or a pimp, this really isn’t relevant.  I don’t want to see pictures OF your car, and I don’t even want to see photos of you posing WITH your car like you’re some 1980’s magazine model.  You are not.

If you’re into cars, great.  Tell me that in the written part of your profile.  You don’t see me snapping photos of my bargain finds from Sam Moon or the latest mortar ‘n pestle I found for perfectly muddling my mint, do you?  The only reason for putting the cars in there is to brag that they’re either expensive or particularly manly.  That’s lame.  Stop doing it, MmmmK?

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9.  Tattoo shots.

You may be thinking, “hey, these people are just showing a piece of their personality.  Or, maybe you’re thinking, “they’re letting you know that they HAVE a tattoo, in case you’re not a “tattoo person” (which, incidentally, I’m not).
But I postulate that it’s just a cheap excuse to show off their bodies/muscles.  It’s like the male equivalent to the gratuitous cleavage photo.

 

 

What’s worse is that half the time, ALL they have on their profiles are the tat pics.

No faces, jut skulls.

No charming smiles, just flames and crosses.

No “check out my friends and I at last year’s Halloween Pub Crawl!”…only unintelligible Chinese characters and old girlfriends’ names.  Really?  (Sighs…)

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10.  Abs.
They’re great…but I don’t need to see you pulling up your shirt to show them off.

Look – women certainly appreciate a guy who’s fit – I’d be lying if I said otherwise.  We also like a guy who’s strong – it appeals to that primal desire for a protector.  But, we’re not sitting around dreaming about a man with tight abs.  Seriously.

In fact, if I was to make a list of qualities women look for (say I polled 1,000 women), I’m willing to bet that “a wicked 6-pack” doesn’t even crack the top 25.  Am I alone here, ladies?

Show me a photo where you’re smiling ear to ear or caught mid-laugh, and I’m yours.  Cutting off your head so as to get a focused shot of your abs…I’m not yours.

Well, there you go… for now.

I’m sure there are a hundred more “tips” I could provide, based on my unfortunately protracted foray into the online dating profile world, but…. .baby steps.


10 Mistakes Every Guy Should Avoid – pt. 1

As I cull through online profiles, I see SO many of the same mistakes…I may actually be slowly going insane.

So, if I’m forced to be subjected to the ignorance and stupidity of online men,
you all will have to listen to the occasional ranting…
Consider it a public service announcement.  I’m a giver, what can I say.

Here are a few tips if you men out there wanna make the ladies swoon…
Or, at the very least, not make them throw up a little in their mouth when they view your profile.

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1.  It’s “woman.”  With an “a.”  You’re looking for a womAn.  You are not looking for a women.
If you are, you may want to consider a religious change of venue.  Might I recommend Yearning for Zion?

Whenever I see this typo (and I’m being gracious that it’s a typo and not just sheer idiocy), it makes me ill-inclined to “lime to chat”… I’m just sayin’.

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2.  Apostrophes.  Use them.  I can’t stress this enough.  How many TIMES will the lazy men of this cyber world force this grammar-savvy girl to read the word “im?”  I’m here to spread the gospel news:  “Im” is not a word!  Say it with me…

If you can’t handle inserting the appropriate symbol, then just type in the ONE extra letter and say, “I am.”  And this guy HERE?  He’s studying English.  The sad irony is so thick, I may need to take the lid off to drink it all in…

 

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3.  Punctuation.

It is your friend.
Don’t be afraid to use it.
Otherwise, I will purposely read your profile thusly:  I’ll take one enormous breath and then read the entire thing without pause or intonation in a robotic monotone.
It kills at parties.

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4.  Scary photos.

I will never understand this phenomenon.  Why would you want to terrify your potential soul mate?

Most women I know don’t want to see your face painted to look like your flesh is coming off, covered in creepy duck tape or with an eery gas mask on the only un-tattooed part of your body.

I know, I know… we’re so high maintenance not wanting to go out with a guy who may be imagining how we’d taste with a little Tony Chachere, slow roasted on a rotisserie spit…

The funny part is, these are usually the guys who say they don’t want any drama.

Really?

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5.  Crass messages.

Dude.  I don’t know how to be MORE clear in my profile that I’m not just looking for a hook-up.
And, if you DO insist on going for it, at least put some nuance and cleverness into your approach.
A witty line has a lot more potential than something like this:

Listen, “I rich,” even if I WAS easy, …between the lame-sauce handle (you rich, huh?  you know how talk right too?), the photos of you covered in obvious prison tats, and your practically comical use of “no” instead of “know,”…you never stood a chance.  I hope dats kool.

More tips for later… if online profiles have taught me anything, it’s that the population out there has a very limited attention spa….. oh!  Look!  A butterfly!

You get the point.  See you tomorrow!