Thursday, September 1, 2016

Are You Desperate?

I’m currently binge-watching Midsomer Murders. One of the main characters is always on the lookout for the one.  He explains to his married co-worker that as a single man in his mid-thirties his time is running out. The man comes on too strong to almost every available woman he meets. The women shut him down. While this is funny for the viewer, it isn’t so hot in real life.

The viewer knows Inspector Jones is a decent person who has a wide variety of interests and a job. Still, he reeks of desperation. People never want what is easy or even achievable. A perfectly nice guy shows up on the scene wanting to take a woman out and she might even think, “What’s wrong with him?” Never mind the fact she had been complaining about the dearth of single men.

There’s a rationale that a person wouldn’t be single or divorced if they were so great.  Those who use this reasoning seldom apply it to themselves. Most men will tell you they meet women when they actually became involved with one. The reason is they gave off a different vibe as opposed to a man on the hunt. The committed man may be friendly, which makes him much easier to be around. Ask a friend for an honest appraisal of how you’re coming across.

Desperate comes across as needy and lacking in confidence. Despite what advertising tells you is sexy from sports cars to sunglasses. Confidence does it every time. Desperation is the opposite of confidence. It tells people you think you aren’t worthy of consideration. You grasp at any possible date since you expect none. Ever wonder why often the crude bad boy wows women with a few backhanded compliments. He’s telling her he doesn’t need her. While this works for the bad boy most of the time, I wouldn’t advise it for the common man.  The average guy could be more mysterious as opposed to insulting.

The best way to present yourself is in smaller time segments. See someone at work or near work. You could start out by smiling or saying hello. You can move on to casual comments about the weather or the weekend. This sets the groundwork.I also if you put it all out there on the first meet, you have a better chance of being shot down. People react to what is happening in their life on that day. A tearful not interested could be due to bad news, death of a pet or even a loss of a job. Keeping it light allows you to continue to be there without being a stalker.  It allows the woman to make the decision if she wants to know you better.

Once you get a date, don’t explain your need to marry as soon as possible. While the woman may have similar aspirations hearing it, come out of someone else’s mouth sounds scary. Now some people would complain this take time. It does. So far, what has worked?

How does desperate look on women? It is a bit unfair, but women already start with the unearned reputation of being desperate if single and over thirty. Desperate is transforming yourself to look like Malibu Barbie, hanging out at the bar until closing time, asking all your friends, co-workers, and relatives about available men. The last while it seems like a good thing has people talking about how desperate you are to meet men.

Most of your friends know you’re single and up for meeting someone. Broadcasting it all the time is over the top. Constantly reviewing the left hand on a man is obvious too. Although many men in a physical job such as construction don’t wear a wedding ring. Often traveling businessmen forget their rings for different reasons.

You often meet people when you aren’t expecting too. A friend met his wife who was a pharmacist at where he got his prescriptions filled. We are most often able to find a forever type of person when working on a shared passion such as conservation or sports. Do what you want to do from travel to astronomy instead of waiting for someone to do it with. You could encounter someone doing the same thing. If not, you still had a good time. 

Watch how you dress. Clothes can give out unintended messages. Most men would respect a woman who dresses appropriately for an event. A recent trip to the ballpark, I saw several women in T-shirts, shorts and a ball cap. The woman with an elaborate hairdo, spandex dress, and stilettoes juggling her nachos and margarita came off not only as desperate, but also high maintenance.

Like men, hold back on revealing your plans for a tropical honeymoon, especially until after the engagement. Too much, too soon scares people. You can also make the mistake of betting on someone who isn’t worth keeping. People reveal themselves bit by bit. Many short-term marriages occurred because people failed to get to know each other. Often, when we feel desperate we grab at anyone and then are afraid to let go when it becomes obvious that it's not meant to be.

Remember, you are a prize and act accordingly. A man or woman would be lucky to be with you. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ducks, D*ck Pics, and Lies

Hong Kong singles may be the most desperate, but sometimes I do wonder about Americans. Reason number one is the number of men who think sending a photo of their genitals will land them a date with a woman they’d never met. Let me explain the real sequence of events.

 Woman receives pic and grimaces. She may have even considered the man for a date until he made this mistake. She then shows it to her girlfriends who comment on the pic and the man who sent it. Neither fare well. Issues are raised that it wasn’t his own photo and that any man who resorts to this juvenile behavior has nothing to offer.

Men who are good conversationalists, high earners, or have an adventurous spirit do not resort to vulgar photos. It doesn’t mean a woman might not be looking for an intimate relationship, but that comes over time and not through an organ survey. A man would fare better with a candid travel or hobby snapshot. A woman’s mind doesn’t work the same as a man’s. Most would appreciate some attempt at romance.

It doesn’t take too much effort to separate the d*ck photo men from the non-vulgar photo men. It might be harder to separate the liars from the non-liars. Strangely, people have a hard time picking out lies in a dating profile. The main reason is they want to believe the untruths. Trust me; I should know, since an international diamond buyer contact me. I busted his story since I knew custom laws and that I knew he couldn’t pass through countries with his dog. Some lies take more work to uncover. There’s now an app for that.  

What you can do on your own is look for a lack of the I and Me pronouns in a profile. An average person would use these pronouns when describing their likes and dislikes in a profile. The difference is simple to spot. Compare I’ve always been a fan of horse racing to Horse racing is a stimulating past time. The second sounds like it came from an ad from the closest track. The writer didn’t say he or she was a fan in the second example.

Keep in mind; people lie with photos too.  I questioned a potential date, about his photo with a small airplane. He apparently neither owned it, nor could fly. He insisted a person could take a photo with anything they wished. While his statement was true, he also knew women would assume he could fly edging out men without airplanes.

Too good to be true stories are right up there with airplane photos. Most of us live very ordinary lives with moments of adventure.  Millionaire jet setters will not be using an ordinary dating site. I did meet a man from a reality-based television show that no one watched via a dating site. Wasn’t totally convinced, he wasn’t married, though. Which brings us to the biggest lie of all, being in a relationship.

We naturally assume if a person isn’t in a relationship if on a dating site. Statistics cite that an average of twenty-five percent of people are married, engaged, or otherwise committed on dating sites. The numbers are higher depending on the site. If the person is unavailable at prime time such as weekends, wants to call you as opposed to you calling and is vague about personal information take it as warning signs.  Take a lesson from the female duck.

Wild ducks are always on the search for the best provider and co-parent for future ducklings. I used to be surprised to see two male Mallards and one female Mallard in the spring. The female will allow multiple males to court her as she decides on the best male. She’ll even dump one male for another until the time she actually lays her eggs. How does this apply to non-feathered females?

Too often women will settle stating they invested too much time in a relationship. It could be true, but no matter how much time you invested in a bad relationship, it could still be bad. If an unsatisfactory relationship is sucking the life out of you, do you want to continue it? This is the time you get out your paper and make a pros and cons list. Ask a friend to help since he or she will have no investment in the relationship. Not settling takes tremendous courage. Be glad you can evaluate what is good or not good in a relationship.

Going back to those desperate singles in Hong Kong, frantically seeking someone often frightens people away. They assume something must be wrong with you.  I’m amused that I was ironically at my most desirable when I wasn’t returning calls in a timely fashion due to not listening to my voice mail. The assumption was that I was dating excessively.  As for the d*ck pics, the only one I got was from Christian Singles member. Never dated him and did not bother to reply either. This makes me wonder if a female who receives tons of offensive photos is being too sexually needy in her profile.

If you’re on a dating site, people assume you want a relationship that will include intimacy. Mentioning it in the profile is over the top and attracts the hookup only type. If a person doesn’t want any type of a close, physical relationship as an eventuality, then he or she shouldn’t be on a dating site. There are other sites for platonic relationships.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What is Too Picky?

A fellow blogger chided me for encouraging women to decide what they wanted as opposed to grabbing anyone who asked them out or showed a mild interest in them. With that in mind, I wondered what was too picky?

      * Dating out of your league. C’mon, you know who you are. Why expect someone who is in an entirely different league to fall for you. If it happens, it’s at best a short relationship. You could find yourself doing outrageous things to engage his or her attention and still lose that person.

      *Going for that elusive date. A good friend complained to me that her forty-year old, five foot daughter who lives in San Francisco will only date men that are six feet or taller. The average height for a man is under 5’10”. Her daughter doesn’t date much, despite being a blonde beauty.

      *Rejecting someone due to hobbies. If a man is a taxidermist, and you’re a card –carrying member of PETA that would make sense. I spend most of my life on the laptop, writing, reading, blogging, etc. while my sweetie entertains himself with his own hobbies. I really couldn’t expect to meet another person who had the same hobbies. If I did, there could be competitiveness.

    *Disclaimer on the hobby issue for long-term relationships. I’m never a fan of people moving in after a couple of dates because they don’t know each other. If they did, they might find their romantic partner spends a great deal of time on their hobby. This is important to know for future relationships. Your date may fudge the details because of a negative reaction in a prior relationship.

     *But before writing someone off who actually has a life, consider he or she put so much time in their pastime because of the absence of a significant other.

*Don’t fall into the habit of stereotyping.  Many women assume men will be more like sitcom characters than complex individuals. The same goes for men summing up women because of various iconic images. I had a hard time convincing my husband that I did like pizza and sports (at least horse racing, baseball and whenever the Colts played.)

*Distance is an issue.  I realize dating sites have some column that you check if you’d move for the perfect someone. Wow, this sounds romantic. It isn’t. It means if a person would truly move for you that he or she has no job, friends, or social network. It’s not love; it’s desperation.

*Consider people in your own city. Right about the time, you’re saying there’s no one appropriate in the city; your possible match is saying the same thing close by.

*Forget about Mr. or Miss Moneybags. Ladies, when I saw all these billionaire books coming out I decided to do the research. Your average single billionaire is 63. There are an estimated 946 billionaires in the world and most are married.

     *Apparently, being arm candy is not enough, to attract the attention of a wealthy power broker. Billionaires are looking for mates with a prestigious pedigree. (Read money and connections.) The potential mate needs a high-level position such as a CEO of Fortune 500 business, an A-list movie star, supermodel, or world-renowned doctor.

     *Money doesn’t buy happiness either. A current survey on happiness demonstrated most people would reach their peak happiness with a couple thousand more a year. Lottery winners are besieged by scam artists and relatives emerging from the woodwork and often admit to being happier before winning.  Think twice before overlooking an average Joe or Jane.

*Romcom Stars or someone who acts like they are. Seriously. It is fiction. A person who expects to find a man like this may eventually find an actor. Remember, they have to be paid to play a part.

*Someone who will make all your dreams come true. No one is responsible for making your dreams come true, but you.  This is a ridiculous burden to put on another person.

* Arm candy/beef cake person’s only attribute is to make your ex jealous. It might make for some good photo opportunities on social media. Don’t waste your time holding out for these people because they have a long line of equally deluded people to work their way through.

      Who can you date without settling or being too picky?

Thousands of people who are a great deal like you are looking for dates. In the fact, they have ordinary jobs, live in similar neighborhoods, may or may not be the same religion, race, or have the same hobbies. The entire idea of dating is to find out who you can live with and who you can’t live without.  It’s hard to do this if you’re not dating.

If you have the misconception someone will lift you out of your current circumstances, make an effort to change your life on your own. Whatever it takes, from working overtime, education or job training, even moving. You’ll find once you work toward your goals that you’ll attract similarly minded people.

I met my own sweetie almost six years ago. I didn’t know a great deal about him except he had a nice smile and was good to his kids.  We had to go out for us to discover how perfect we were for one another. I couldn’t have picked a sweeter, more considerate or romantic man, but if I had insisted on only going out with 6’ men, I would never have met him. Something to consider.  After all this time, he still treats me like a queen.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Catfishing & Non-assertive Women

I felt I had to share one blog I read recently. Make that two blogs. We all know what Catfishing is. It’s when someone pretends to be someone else via social media. He or she could use different photos claim a different occupation, etc.  The profile or the alleged person isn’t anywhere close to who you think they are.

One in ten dating profiles is bogus. Nothing is real about it.  With that in mind, the too good to be true diamond buyer with multiple houses who’s contacted you doesn’t exist. If he did exist, he wouldn’t be on Match, OkCupid, or Tinder. Most ordinary people post a younger, thinner photo or list an exciting hobby that they might like to try.

The blog I read detailed how the man started reading a blog written by a woman who wrote about cheating on her husband and divorcing him. In truth, she was married and the blog may have been a form of acting out a possibility or speculative fiction. The author thought the red flag was that the woman would write about cheating on her husband. He left comments in the comment section and the woman contacted him thus started the catfish relationship.

This wasn’t the real red flag. The real red flag is that the woman contacted him. Despite women being all they can be in the workforce, this doesn’t extend to the world of dating. OkCupid did a research study on their female clients and found women seldom contacted the men waiting for the initial male contact. Been there, done that. This is a shame because when women contact men it’s flattering. Unless, they’re asking for large sums of money and even then some men still think it’s flattering.
It’s no wonder that the man from the catfish blog responded to the woman’s initial contact via the blog comments. She searched for his blog and began leaving cutesy comments on it. As a writer, and sometimes blogger, this has never ever happened to me. No. Nada. None. If people do leave cute comments, it is because it is someone I already know. If someone else did, I would not start emailing that person.

First, it’s weird. Second, I happen to know who’s on the other side of that email. My former students from a lockdown facility created several profiles using photos of beautiful women. They amused themselves by writing to these men. They usually made the bombshell beauty profiles into either a recent immigrant or someone still in Mother Russia, Ukraine, etc. Even though, I warned the staff the boys were too busy on the Internet. They didn’t end their time online because it kept them out of trouble. I wonder if any of the lovelorn men who were writing Natasha would say the same.

Are you being catfished? It depends on your definition of catfish. Studies suggest at any one time at least 25% of dating profiles feature people currently in relationships. They may be checking the waters or searching for something missing in their marriage. I‘ve been catfished more than once.
One man, he may have been a woman, or a group of middle school students, went by the name of Forever Sunsets. He wrote cheery, caring emails. He didn’t even a photo on his profile. His explanation for this is he wanted to get to know a person before sharing his photo.

Every single day, I received a letter for a year. He gave me information about himself, including he was an accountant. When I pressed to meet, he agreed, but never showed. A few months later, he popped back up, apologizing for the no show. By this time, I’d written him off. My take on this, or better yet, my friend’s take was that he was married, but enjoyed an illicit thrill in our correspondence.

Social media is notorious for people bragging and making up things that never happened. It’s a fantasyland. Most dating sites emphasize to meet early as opposed to corresponding for weeks. When you meet, you discover immediately, you don’t suit and are free to search for someone more appropriate.

This brings me back to the hesitant female. A woman will usually allow the contact to continue without pushing for a personal meeting. Often, it seems easier than meeting in person and being rejected. It isn’t easier. It’s more of a long goodbye. Time wasted when you could have been with someone who counted.

Women feel free to take the initiative. I winked at my sweetie on eHarmony and left it at that. He wasn’t a current member and I didn’t know that. About a month later, he contacted me. The rest is happy history. I did ask if he would have contacted me if I hadn’t winked at him. He wasn’t sure if he would have because he felt that the town I listed was too far away. Ironically, it wasn’t even my town. I used it for safety reasons.

The lesson of the two blogs is this: be assertive if you’re a woman involved in online dating. By this I mean, make the first move. If a man doesn’t respond, don’t follow it up with a rant. Try not to take it personally. He could be an inactive member. Keep in mind; social media allows us to be ruder than we would in person.

If someone contacts you due to a blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. be suspicious. If you think someone is too good to be true, then he or she isn’t real. People make up stuff all the time to sound interesting. Sometimes, it is a mean-spirited game to see who will respond.

You have to decide what your warning flags are. Mine included men I felt were out of my league. Go back to the jet setting diamond buyer. I knew someone like that would not be seriously interested in me. Unfortunately, when it comes to romance, logic often goes out the window.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day Blues

Valentine’s Day is not usually a happy holiday for most. If you’re single, widowed, or even unhappy in your marriage or relationship, you feel it more on this day than almost any other, possibly with the exception of New Year’s Eve. The retail industry relentlessly bombards you with ads for jewelry, flowers, and spa days before Christmas day is even over. The stores aren’t much better putting out their V-day cards with funny and often mushy contents, red stuffed animals that often dance and sing, and miniature heart shaped boxes of cheap chocolates as they withdraw the Christmas items. 

Why does February 14 matter so much? A child exchanging valentines at the class party could measure his or her popularity or the lack of it through how many valentines he or she received. That’s why the Charlie Brown V-Day special with Charlie shaking his box in an effort to locate one card is especially poignant. Teachers send home instructions that students must bring valentines for everyone. That doesn’t mean everyone gets a valentine. Even if the mother painstakingly addressed twenty-eight cards using the provided list, the child could pull out one or two due to dislike. As a teacher, I’ve seen it happen more than once and usually had extra valentines on hand for such occasions. 

The media via advertising created the message  that no valentine equals no love. This message is so prevalent in the United States that I make sure to send my friends and family V-day cards. One in five people surveyed complained of feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day. Those were the honest ones, there may have been more.  Relationship issues cause 75% of suicides or at least that’s the note theme.

Men often break up before the 14th because they’re unsure how to treat the day. Many women expect expensive jewelry and a deeper commitment it represents. A friend of mine confided that she went out on a first date on Valentine’s Day. That must have been tough for the both of them with the couples crowding every restaurant and date venue.

Not all of them are happy, stars in their eyes, couple, either.  Apparently, 64% of men do not make advance plans. That means the super romantic date the woman expected may end up at Steak and Shake. Not that it’s a bad place. They’re even offering free milkshakes on the 14th. However, most men are aware whatever they do won’t be right.

On a recent local radio show, the caller called about Valentine’s Day. She commented her former boyfriend brought her roses, chocolates, took her out to nice places and even opened the car door for her, but she still dumped him. Men almost begrudgingly buy valentine gifts. No wonder they fall prey to last minute thinking and advertising. Their rush into the drugstore on the way home is the equivalent of streaking across the frozen tundra, unpleasant at best.

It isn’t surprising that forty percent of the population has negative feelings about the day. If you’re alone on the day, and you will be at some time in your life, then you could  feel like a loser. Someone who has to hide out as if a pariah. If your significant doesn’t pop for a desired item or an expensive item, often couples break up.  It’s amazing what ridiculous item the diamond industry will promote each year.  This year, it’s your initial picked out in diamonds.  People will buy them in hordes.

Another survey asked women what they really wanted. None wanted an initial necklace. Most wanted household chores done without begging. Others wanted the significant other to plan a date. Not one wanted a red stuffed animal that played music, rose-shaped bath soaps that gummed up the tub, or even roses.

In the end, being extra nice one day isn’t as good as being a decent human all year along. I suspect that is what most people want. As for my sweetie and I, we stay in and enjoy a special dinner on V-day not wanting to deal with the crowds and inflated prices. We do get each other a gift that shows how well we know one another, nothing red or decorated with hearts.

Do you think there’s no one out there for you. My book, Dating after Forty-eight is .99 and available on Nook, Kindle, Kobo, iTunes, and PDF on Smashwords. It’s also available in paperback too.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Height Standard

When it comes to men, taller is usually preferred. Notice I didn’t say better. In fact, in western society, it is almost unthinkable for the woman to be taller or almost as tall as her partner. Even petite women prefer a tall mate. Movie stars such as Tom Cruise, who barely tops 5’9”, look taller because of camera angles. Remember the upside down kiss in the Spiderman movie. It was staged so it wouldn’t be obvious the two leads were almost the same height.

Apparently, the cutoff for acceptable height is 5’10” for men. Not too surprising since the average height for women is 5’5”, although women are beginning to push that number upward. Most women want a man they can wear their heels with. The ideal of being out in public with a shorter man is, at best, awkward. This concept is woven into our current and past society. Leaders are often picked on their size as opposed to their ability. It’s no wonder the expression that a man stand head and shoulders above his competition is a good one.

How prevalent is this idea? While we are moving into larger size models in women’s wear, you never see any short models in men’s clothing. In fact, they don’t even make clothes for shorter men. You have your big and tall sizes, but no short and compact equivalent. Even when a man is short, other people try to conspire to make him taller. People arranging blind dates never mention a man’s height, unless he’s tall. Shoe manufacturers sell heeled boots and lifts. At a photography studio, I even witnessed the photographer having a height-challenged man stand on wooden block to appear taller than his wife.

How does this translate to dating? Not very well for the male candidate under 5’10”. According to a Duke University Study, men 5’9” had to make over 40,000 to make up for the single inch, which would mean a 5’5” man would have to make 200,000, which is a major jump. This could explain why you see wealthy short men with model-worthy wives.

The same study went on to point out American men preferred their dates to be slightly underweight. This isn’t too surprising since we have endless Photo Shopped images, where even the models that posed for the ads weren’t even that thin.

The article went on to say hot people only want to date hot people, not exactly a news flash. Not so attractive people end up dating people of equal unattractiveness. What they do is prioritize what is important to them and it isn’t a six-pack abs or a twenty-inch waist.

This is a bit depressing if you’re in the dating market. It’s best to go back to the traditional measures of a good mate, which is actions. While dating, a man or woman is at their peak of courtship behavior, which means it will probably get much worse. With that in mind, don’t bet on your 6’ date to suddenly develop manners if you continue to date. Don’t even consider that you can change another person into the mold of your preferred date. It’s not happening.

A friend of mine whined horribly about how her current tall boyfriend treats her like unpaid servant and ATM, which he does.  Several people, including men, told her to drop him. She didn’t because he is so tall and good-looking. If you insist on 6’ men, realize there are only 14% in the United States, and many of them are married.

If you’re a man who needs an underweight woman, your best bet will probably be the local high school or possibly an ultra-marathoners’ club. Still, I believe, if you’re a decent individual who refuses to categorize the other gender, you should find someone to love, and better yet, someone to love you.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Flirting Theory

Does flirting get you better service, jobs, or even a better cut of beef? This discussion came up recently at work. Most believed they received benefits due to their flirting. It also comes down to what you define as flirting. I was raised to be civil, helpful and pleasant. If someone asks for the time or help in finding a particular item in the grocery, I would never consider my assistance as flirting, although some people would.

Flirting can consist of making jokes, direct compliments, teasing that prolongs a conversation beyond its natural limits. Most sales people will flatter the customer pretending an interest they don’t feel.  My sales training focused on how to friend the person creating an affability to make a sale. The service person, server, or car salesperson really isn’t interested in you. Depending on their policy, they could get in trouble for not smiling or wishing you a pleasant day.

Several co-workers insisted they received better service by flirting. Most of the time they got the same service everyone else did. A perusal of a magazine meant for restaurant owners and employees listed the issues servers had with customers. Number one was flirting. Most of the time the young server was creeped out by men or women old enough to be his or her parents flirting them up. Especially icky was when customers leered, made comments about the server’s appearance, or even mentioned coming back again. It sounds a great deal like stalking.

Why do people bother to flirt, especially in the presence of their spouse or significant other? First, they have a captive audience with employees who can’t say anything negative at the risk of losing a sale or possibly their job.  The would-be Lotharios set out to prove to the significant other that they are still hot. While the server ducks back into the kitchen to get their order, the flirter might even go on about how intrigued the waitress was. When in truth, she’s relating the hackneyed lines to the amusement of her fellow workers.

Secondly, it is a no-risk situation. The flirter doesn’t have to worry about rejection because, as the buyer, he or she holds all the power. The intention was never to pick up someone, but just to build up some self-esteem. Doing this in front of a significant other guarantees the safety aspect. It also means that the person serving the obnoxious flirter may have a few choice descriptions uttered only after the tip is rendered, and only to fellow servers.

Occasionally, there are people who deliberately flirt to irritate their spouse, provoke jealously, or even start an argument. It makes you wonder what benefits they hope to get.

As for the salesperson who is the victim of this unwanted attention, it is a form of harassment. If a person were genuinely interested in the employee, and the server felt likewise, then it would be an entirely different story. The flirting would serve its natural purpose as opposed to trying to cop a free appetizer.

Often, employees will play the flirting game. An example is giving the offender free pie as if it were a special gift between the two of them even though the restaurant had a free pie policy. This results in the flirter tipping more in the belief he received something special.

Back in the day, when I was waitress, a single, older man was usually a guarantee of a big tip if played appropriately. It kind of makes you wonder who is playing whom?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Has Romance Died Due to Technology?

BBC historian Lucy Worsley recently rocked boats when she declared romance was dead thanks to dating apps. More and more people are using smart phones to hook up. A possible swipe to the right depends on superficial looks and a clever tagline. Actually, neither have to be authentic to get a first date. No worries about the second date because that isn’t happening. Most likely bored singles are looking for diversion in their busy lives, not relationships, and definitely not romance.

Romance is complex and often takes time. An initial interested glance encountered at the coffee shop or at work results in follow-up events. These incidents can be as simple as a hello or a smile. Eventually, an invitation is offered after weighing the pro and cons of doing so. If the date goes well, there is a second one, and the gradual road to getting to know one another. A few of us are old enough to remember the excitement of a growing flirtation, the specialness of a date request, even the importance of the first kiss.

With applications such as Tinder, people are little more than interchangeable units. There is no specialness when there seems to be an unending supply of people to pick from. In the end, some people showcase better than others, which only proves they’ve mastered smoke and mirror manipulation. It doesn’t really matter if the person isn’t single, a jet pilot, or former Olympian since he or she has no plans to stay around long enough for it to matter.

This type of throwaway dating is destined to cause bitterness. It is no wonder that other apps have shown up to allow people to rate their dates. The forthcoming Peeple app allows people to report on dates, sexual performance, bosses, and restaurant servers. Someone in a funk could lambast an ex, his or her boss, and the barista at the local coffee shop. While it is supposed to improve service in the service area, it will eventually bully or humiliate people.

So why is romance dying a swift death? It could be that people always assume what is new is better. Fast food wowed people with convenience but worsened the health of the consumers. Smart phones are not only contributing to the lack of memory skills but are taking people out of the moment. A recent photo at a popular movie premiere illustrated that fact with everyone either staring at their phones or attempting to take pictures for future viewing. Only one lone woman seemed content to be in the now.

Is romance dead? Sadly, it may be for twenty-something adults who had cell phones before they could even drive. Dating is about getting to know someone. You date until you realize you wouldn’t work as a couple. Most people can do this by crawling through each other’s social media.

Traditionalists will still meet for drinks, make plans for dates, and answer the phone when called. Others will only read tweets replying when they feel like it. For some people, romance didn’t die because it never even existed.  
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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Looking for the Mythical Better Catch

I'm back. I took a break to put together my first Dating After Forty-eight book. It's available on Kindle for .99 right now. The price will go up in October.

There’s always someone better right around the corner. Right? Online dating companies would love us to think so. Remember their business is not to help you find that long-term relationship, but to keep you dating. A person who lays down hundreds, even thousands of dollars, is a much better deal than a person who joins briefly and settles down with one of his dates. There’s a lot going on to make us dissatisfied with whomever we are with. A commercial culture continually pushes us to want more. Consider if you decided, where you lived was good enough. You were content with your car. The clothes would last until they fell apart. Realtors, car lots, and several stores would go out of business if everyone shared the same mindset. Instead, we balance ourselves on the delicate edge of not wanting what we have because it might not be enough or the right stuff.

The Tinder culture assures us that dating one person is the loser way. There’s always someone hotter out there. All you have to do is look.  Is that someone hotter the right person for you? Does the mythical better person want to go out with you?  Are you going to dump someone you enjoy being with for intangible what ifs?

Ask yourself these questions about whomever you’re currently dating.

Does he or she make you happy?
Can you be yourself with him or her?
Are you your best self when with your current flame?
Is he or she supportive of your dreams? Better yet, have you shared your goals?
Have you introduced this person to your friends or co-workers? (This is a sign of pride and that you don’t want to hide your relationship.)
Can you see this person in your future?
Do you have shared interests?
 Do you have similar goals for the future?
Is he or she easy to be around?

If you answered yes to five or more than, you have most positives than most people in relationships. You’re willing to give that up for someone who probably doesn’t exist.

Think again before you abandon a cool fellow. A recent book, Date-onomics by Jon Birger, details how professional women are easily outstripping their male counterparts. Most people want to date someone in their economic and educational background, but fewer men are graduating from college. Although, on the other hand, if you can see yourself dating a non-college educated guy they’re out there too. Would they be okay dating a woman with more education and possible earning ability?

There are areas where professional women are much more common than men, such as New York City. Author Jon Birger points out when the demand outstrips the supply, men can be very selective. This results in more friends with benefits situation with the men demonstrating little desire to settle down. Why should they when they have endless opportunities to date? Because the well-groomed, articulate male is at a premium, especially in some locales, he insists on the best. You may think you’re the best because that’s what your previous guy told you so. It doesn’t mean other men will share the same opinion.

Considering all this, should you give up on your current relationship? Well, here are some other questions to ask yourself.

Are you forced to act a certain way when around this person? (In other words, you can’t be yourself.)
Do you experience ridicule or harassment in the relationship?
Does your partner cheat on you?
Does being with this person stress you out?
Do you continually give 120%, while your partner occasionally contributes 10%?
Do you hide your relationship from others?
Is this relationship financially draining you?
Are you deeply unhappy with this person?
Do you have nothing in common?

If you answered yes to two or more questions, then you might re-evaluate your situation. Perhaps you could discuss some matters. Remember it is often better to be alone than be with someone who destroys your self-worth.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Internet Dating Advice: The Good, The Bad & The Stupid

Playboy Playmate Ciara Price Posing Next to a Victory Motorcycle
( This is the fantasy)

Ever click on Internet dating advice featured in the side column of whatever article you’re reading? If so, you’ve run the gamut of generic advice of dressing well because you might meet The One at the dry cleaners or while you were pumping gas.  I even read one column where the woman suggested giving out a Let’s Have Coffee card to any interested man you might meet while waiting for your espresso or shopping for groceries. She did explain you should get a prepaid cell phone with a number that is no way associated with your actual name or identity. This all sounded like too much work. It also smacked of a bad reality news story. How do you know the man you’re chatting up in the fast food line isn’t a douchebag or a serial killer?

Good question. It’s hard meeting people despite the census insisting that there are more single people than individuals involved in relationships. With this information, people think it should be easy to meet potential companions. When they don’t, they turn to the Internet, which mostly gives dubious advice.

A good example is a recent slide show that mentioned what men preferred. It included women faking an accent, preferably upper crust British. If she can’t handle this, the woman should go with a French accent.  How long is the woman supposed to pretend? One woman commenter summed it up by stating the guy should date a British chick.

The article went on to say fear turns men on. A woman who wants to make her man hot should scare him. I’m sure men threatened with a gun or machete by their current girlfriend don’t find it very attractive. The advice seems idiotic to most people, but not to those who are truly desperate.

One of my favorite ones was a woman who wants to up her desirability by riding a motorcycle. Apparently being perched on a bike would make her desirable. Seriously, this would involve a significant expenditure and would also endanger your safety. This rationale has sold thousands of motorcycles to men who believed they would be irresistible to women astride a crotch rocket. It also explains the upswing of sports cars sold to both men and women over forty.

If a man or a woman prefers someone who rides a motorcycle as opposed to anyone else, then it is more a fetish. The same people who will only date individuals of a certain height, race, or occupation, are objectifying their date. In other words, they don’t have that much invested in the relationship and can interchange people easily.

Odd things can attract people, but they don’t always keep people together. Do you want someone who you can’t be yourself around? Can you keep up a fa├žade for the rest of your life? Probably not. Be careful taking advice that forces you to be someone you’re not.

Other columns will encourage a man to rent an expensive sports car to impress his date. This ranks up there with the accent. How long will this last? Many men practically spend themselves into the poorhouse by providing escort to expensive events and trips they can't afford. In the end, they only have a woman who will leave them once the spending stops.

Is all Internet advice bad? No.  Sometimes, it is based on who is giving the advice. Is the advice giver somewhat like you? A young, male blogger can’t give workable advice to middle-aged women. He hasn’t been there and is unaware of the issues these women face. Most men will read information from male bloggers and vice versa. Keep in mind; people write from their own viewpoint.

One slideshow about what men love featured thirty different men talking about what they liked about their significant other. It included a woman baby talking, one who loved video games, another one enjoyed his girl friend’s lisp, and still another liked the fact his wife could beat him in arm wrestling. As you can see, the traits were particular to each woman.

This list is both meaningless and meaningful. Something one man likes doesn’t transfer automatically to all men. All those lists that tell you to wear stiletto heels and talk dirty might scare off men who are long-term relationship material. Men who are faking a bad boy persona aren’t getting what they want either. They get dropped by women who want real bad boys and ignored by women who would have been good matches.

How do I know this? I tried faking a British accent. Couldn’t do it. It required too much thought and practice on my part. It didn’t really attract anyone. In the end, my sweetie enjoys my own accent, no matter how country hick I might sound.

As for my darling, he tried following Internet advice. Didn’t work. He even went for the sports car, but it did not result in women throwing themselves at him. As for me, I know so little about car models I couldn’t even identify it.

If it makes sense and doesn’t compromise who you are; go for it. Simple instructions such as smile more, get out more, try out things you’ve always wanted to do without waiting for a significant other to appear is all good advice. Decide what will work for you, but always be yourself.

When you try to form yourself into someone you’re not, all you end up with is someone who is not attracted to you, but to the image you created. No one wants that.

The Reality for Most Non-bike Riders