Monday, March 28, 2011
There is an old song crooned originally by a female singer called Someone to Watch Over Me. In the old black and white film, the singer sings soulfully of being a lamb lost in the woods. What she needs is a big, strong confident man to watch over her. In the period the song was written it was taken for granted that a woman struggled on her own only until her knight appeared on his trusty steed. Most women moved from their father’s house to their husband’s home. There was always someone to watch over them, but boy have things changed even if we think they haven’t.
A careful perusal of online male profiles all had one thing in common—they wanted a woman who was financially independent. In fact, they wanted someone to take care of them. A few more mentioned they wanted a good housekeeper and an excellent cook. Still others were specific that they wanted a sexually adventurous companion. They not only want someone to watch over them, pay the bills, cook the dinner, and wait in the bedroom with a riding crop.
Whatever happened to someone to watch over me? I never experienced it. My mother never had it since my father died young and left her laden with debt. Same thing happened with my grandmother. I’m wondering why we even expect this mythical behavior? We are trained by books, songs and movies that a handsome prince will lift us out of the ashes and carry us away. Think Pretty Woman. When it doesn’t happen, we moan and complain about our prince being late.
It’s time to be our own princes. It is past time we take responsibility for taking care of ourselves. It’s really what we already do, but while currently doing it we resent that some man isn’t busy sweeping all the obstacles out of our way. It isn’t going to happen. Wishing or wanting it to happen doesn’t make it so. It is freeing to be your own prince.
My daughter and I spotted a bookcase headboard at a neighborhood yard sale. It was perfect for the bed in the guestroom. The problem was getting it home. We tried my daughter’s car, which was too small. My even smaller car was a no go. My first thought was what I needed was a man and a truck. I wanted the headboard. We eventually thought we could carry it home, but it was heavy. After brainstorming, my daughter and I decided to use a skateboard to roll the headboard home. We managed to get the headboard home by working together.
So now, we can acknowledge that we are taking care of ourselves. We are watching over ourselves. Once I realized my place in the world, just maybe I might find someone to share it with. A person who isn’t looking for someone to watch over him rather will just stand beside me and hold my hand.
Maybe there is a man who is looking for a woman who can take care of herself as opposed to a dependent woman who expects everything to be done for her. Realistically, I don’t have time to wait on a man to do everything for me. I met one woman who was in her forties and waiting for her prince to come. She wanted to travel, but didn’t because she was waiting to share her travel adventures with her prince. Her failure to purchase the furniture she wanted went back to she didn’t want to buy anything that might offend her future mate. The irony in her waiting for her prince she may have eliminated all chances of meeting the man.
First, we have to realize there are no princes out there, except for Harry and he’s still up for grabs. Most men aren’t interested in a woman who is waiting. She is basically emotionally stunted and waiting for someone else to grow her into a full adult. Daddy isn’t coming. My waiting friend could have traveled to exotic places and in doing so may have met someone. At the very least, she could have had fun. Instead of waiting on someone to help her pick out furniture, she can buy what she wants. I find it hard to believe that a man and woman can’t meet, fall in love, and manage to combine furniture.
The problem with waiting for your prince is two-fold. No matter who you meet, no matter how great they really are, will not be enough because you’ve had plenty of time to build up a superhero boyfriend in your mind. Secondly, waiting to live your life makes you bitter. Think back about stereotypes you’ve heard about bitter old maids. Everyone assumes they never married because they are difficult, which may or may not be true. It is probably a definite they became bitter as they waited for life to come them in a form of a man instead of taking charge of their lives. There are also tales of free spirited women who live life fully without a man. They didn’t make the mistake of expecting a prince to sweep them off their feet. In turn, they may have swept a few men off their feet with their independence and zest for life.
The real question for all those in the dating pool: are you waiting on a prince instead of living the life you desire?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
What do you consider a bad date? Is it when a date shows up looking like the grandfather of the man pictured in the online profile? It could be when extra people come along, such as friends, children or relatives to check out the date. One dating column advised the woman to take long friends to judge the fellow. There’s the date where your date mistakes you for a lady of the evening and you have to explain that a combo meal does not buy him any backseat action. Maybe your salesman date is convinced a date is the perfect venue to sell you a pricey whole life policy. Bad dates, where you merely irritate or bore each other, aren’t all that bad, just a time waster. What if it is more than that? What if your date goes really bad?
Most people have heard a news story where a woman disappears after meeting someone at a nightclub. That’s the extreme downside. Sometimes you have an ordinary guy who doesn’t do it for you, who keeps calling, texting or even showing up at your job. Other times your stalker might be his current girl friend who has found your number in his phone. How can you avoid the twisted date syndrome?
Be very, very careful about the information you give out. Many people online will use a nickname or a middle name so they can’t be Googled or looked up in the white pages. If you live near a big city, use that as a location, not your small town. Watch the photos you put up. Make sure there isn’t any identifying information in the photo. Are you in front of your house? Maybe your work logo is right behind you or you’re at your favorite golf course. This information can be used to locate you. After one date, a male friend of mine refused to go out with an overly aggressive female. The woman called him demanding to know why he wouldn’t give her another chance. Finally, she blocked the end of his road with her car and refused to let him leave for work. Even though he was a big man, he was terrified, unsure if the woman was armed. Because of his community position, the last thing he wanted was to be featured on the front page.
What could he have done differently? Many things…first he gave out too much information. He gave out his phone number and his neighborhood. Many online daters start with an email address that does not have any combination of their name included in it. This way they can communicate back and forth with someone until comfortable. Never tell a new person where you work until you are on the fourth plus date. Do you really want a disgruntled date sitting in the parking lot waiting for you?
Photos are not something you want your new date to have. I’ve gone on first dates where the guy wants to photograph me to put in his cell phone. At first, I thought it made sense, but then I heard about these initial photos being used in a variety of ways such as showing the ex he was dating or grandma that he did have a girlfriend and wasn’t gay. Your image can be photo shopped; your head put on a different body and uploaded to the Internet. I know that sounds paranoid with a capital P, but it does happen. Do you want someone to have your photo that you don’t know all that well? Don’t get me started on the females who think it is appropriate to send sexy photos to a guy they just met. Everyone at his work has a good laugh. Don’t kid yourself that those photos aren’t shown around. The date may not be the problem, but his creepy co-worker might be.
Never ever allow a new guy to know where you live. He seems nice, but he could go ugly on you. Strangely, the women tend to stalk more than the males. Knowing where you live and work allows them to shadow you. Even casual comments that you bowl on Wednesdays may have your rejected date showing up for league night.
Be wary of first dates who want you to come to their house. That isn’t right on a number of levels. One gentleman who was fixed up on a blind date, called ahead to let his date know he was on his way and was surprised to find her wearing a ratty bathrobe and no makeup. When he inquired if she needed more time, she flashed him. The guy took off before she decided to explain what she really had in mind. Another unfortunate fellow was greeted by children calling him “new daddy.” Others met up with not so ex-boyfriends toting firearms. On the other side, be wary of a person that never allows you to come to their home. If you are seeing someone for more than THREE months and you’ve never been to his house, it can only mean two things: married or he's not into you.
A major mistake often made when alcohol is involved is revealing too much information. Why people would want to reveal secrets to someone they just met I have no clue, but many do. The initial dates are not a good time to reveal felonious activities or secret fantasies. This information can be used to blackmail you into continuing the relationship.
Now most of you are probably scared to date, but it is like anything else: if you know the danger, you can avoid it. Before I went snorkeling, I had to watch a slide show about everything I needed to watch out for while in the water. I was terrified of stepping on fire coral or meeting up with an octopus…neither happened. Instead I had a wonderful time snorkeling. Same with dating.
If you have doubts, don't go out. If your instincts are telling you that this is a bad bet…then it probably is. Primitive man survived by listening to his instincts. You would do well to listen to yours. Hold back your personal information and talk about general items on your first date. Do have a dummy email to collect all your inquiries. Google your date if you know his real name. (Be aware online info isn't always correct or current because I Googled myself and found I was living in Georgia married to my ex-father-in-law. Haven't lived in Georgia for almost 20 years and my ex-father-in-law is dead.) Always drive yourself and arrive separately. Often dating sites have a verification process that your date can use to show he is who he said he is. Take care now, so you don’t find yourself sneaking through the restaurant kitchen to get away from your date later. If you need to sneak out through the kitchen, do it. Your safety comes first.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Right now, at this very moment, I am living the dream. If I wanted to I could go out every night with stable, professional men who will treat me like a lady while attempting to win me over. I’ve gone from wondering if there were any nice men left to an embarrassment of riches. Most of this is due to heavy research and being picky.
Yes, I did say picky. Colts’ Chaplain Ken Johnson tells girls in his motivational talks that if a guy doesn’t have a job, then he doesn’t have her. My attitude is if the guy doesn’t have a real career, then he doesn’t have me. Why not? I have a career I can relate to someone who has one too. Knowing what you wants provides talking points too.
So being persnickety, I decided on a college educated professional within five years of my age who actually reads in his spare time. Other hobbies would be nice too. I didn’t get hit all at once with available men. In fact, at first, the men I was matched with were not always appropriate. There was the temptation to go out with the inappropriate men just to be out, but then I would be back where I was before. I didn’t need that. Instead, I continued to believe in myself as the prize.
The leg work was done since my image was updated online and in the real word. My job was to believe and be approachable...all do-able things. Then it happened it was literally raining men. Everywhere I went I was meeting men when before I managed to pass by all of them. The big difference was I made eye contact and smiled. Suddenly, I was someone they could talk to and they did.
On my online profiles, I replied to those who contacted me as a matter of courtesy. Some of the men were agile enough to parlay that into a meeting. Honestly, I would have to say this time out I didn’t meet any jerks or stalkers. Instead I met professional men who wanted to be a part of a couple, definitely not players. As nice and appropriate as the men were some just were not contenders.
It was great if I could dismiss a man after one date because there was no emotional attachment. Some thought they liked me, but because they were staunchly conservative even wearing their GOP lapel pin I knew it wouldn’t be a good fit. With others my mind wandered while I was out on a date anxious to get home to see if a certain man contacted me. It was fairly easy to dismiss these men with a polite comment that I was sure they would find someone who was a much better fit.
The hard part about thinning out the herd was the gentleman I had been out on several dates with and had been reasonably content with until I discovered the chemistry wasn’t there. How did I discover the chemistry wasn’t there? Someone showed up who brought the chemistry. Then I had to decide to cut the non-chemistry man free, although he was aware I wasn’t dating him exclusively. It didn’t seem right to prevent him from seeking out someone else.
Most men are okay with a polite goodbye. Some even asked me to keep their numbers if I changed my mind. None of the drama that women sometimes use, but then we were not exclusive plus there are many more women out there. It is much harder when you’ve gone out eight or nine times. If I am not anything I’m transparent. No CIA operative here. Instead the men must know what is coming before it does. Many say they knew, but hoped I wouldn’t break it off. It is sad that they were willing to settle for a lukewarm dating relationship simply to have a relationship, but I wanted more.
I promised myself when I started my life over for the last time that this time would be different. My choice is to live life to its fullest. I want to give full rein to my love. To do this I will have to find the right person, not the perfect person, but someone who can handle the totality of who I am. Most aren’t able to handle it.
With that I am thinning out the herd with polite goodbyes. I am not worried that I am burning my bridges behind because even if I choose this time to walk down the wrong path I know there are plenty more paths out there. This time I know how to turn around and get my feet on the right path, but strangely enough, I have a feeling, an instinct maybe, that I am on the right path.
The Art of Kissing
I recently picked up an unread book I have on my bookshelf called The Art of Kissing. This small book by William Cane came from a neighbor’s yard sale where I snagged it for only fifty cents. Probably the same yard sale I bought the Relationships for Dummies book too. Thank goodness, it wasn’t a close neighbor.
The author starts out the book by reminding us of our first magical kiss. Think back; what was your first kiss like? Mine happened at church camp. Fourteen years old with braces; naturally I attracted another fourteen year old with braces. The other campers teased us that our braces would lock if we kissed. I guess we both gave a great deal of thought to that notion and decided to try it out. The result was my first kiss. While our braces didn’t lock, there may have been some bruising from the braces. I can laugh at myself now because I know we were horrible kissers because we were clueless. Still young people are supposed to start somewhere, but what if you’re an adult and don’t know how to kiss?
That’s where The Art of Kissing comes in handy. Did you know smiling and laughing will garner you more kisses than looking sultry or sad. People are attracted to happy people…and they tend to kiss them too. Don’t know how to kiss? The author suggests placing your lips gently on your date's lips and wait a few seconds seeing if your sweetie will respond. Most will and then you simply follow their movements.
Different kisses mean different things. I went out on a second date with a guy where I was unsure if he liked me, but I liked him. At the end of the date, I received the sister kiss on the hair. As he drove away, I thought: What was that? What did it mean? I may have waved my hands in the air and yelled something about not being his sister. Still it was sweet. It left me intrigued and willing to go out with him again. He later admitted that had been his intention to let me know he was fond of me, but not to press too hard too fast. It worked well since we are still seeing each other.
William Cane reveals in his book that women love kissing. In fact, many women report they could do it for hours. The majority of women described kissing as being more intimate than sex. Most prostitutes refuse to kiss their clients because it is too personal. What makes kissing so special?
It brings a special intimacy and warmness to a couple. You kiss people you both care about and love. It cements relationships. There is a very funny scene in the movie Leap Year where all the older couples at the table are telling the "newlyweds” the secret to a good marriage. It is to kiss passionately every day, then they demonstrate. They wait for the young couple to kiss. Their first kiss is an awkward peck because they don’t really know each other. Then at the older couples’ scoffing, they try again and really get into it. They discovered each other through kissing.
You can really tell a lot about a man from a simple kiss. To go from a kissing zero to hero he has to be creative. Men who kiss you in an unexpected location such as an escalator are bound to get a reaction. Then of course, there are men who kiss you on unexpected places. The number one place women like kisses besides the lips according to Internet survey is the neck.
What if a man is horrible at kissing? Could be he’s a shy guy who hasn’t had much experience, but might be willing to learn. Then there are men who are rather rigid with their lips who just lean over and peck at you as if they were a chicken and you were a kernel of feed corn. That’s not overly appealing. If a man has been married and is over thirty-five and he is still pecking at you like a chicken…well, you may have to decide how much you like kissing compared to the guy’s company. This is not someone who enjoys kissing. At best, he sees kissing as a way to warm up the woman for the main event. If he only knew, he wasn’t warming her up.
In Cane’s book, both men and women participated in a survey to see how Americans fared on the kissing scale. Okay ladies, I think you might know the answer. Europeans, especially Italians, French and Spanish kissed more frequently and kissed well. They also kissed in public more and kissed for the sake of kissing. Sadly, even the Germans scored higher than Americans did. We can take heart that our British cousins scored rather low too. The complaints against American men included that they usually don’t know how to kiss; they’re too forceful and they see it as only a prelude to sex. American women were not open to public kissing as much as their European cousins and didn’t open their mouths as much. We can tell ourselves that was only the opinion of people answering the survey.
A man who loves to kiss and is willing to learn and experiment is priceless. He’ll feather delicate kisses over his lover’s closed eyes. Playful Eskimo nose rubs and puppy dog lick kisses are in his repertoire along with lip sucking and French kissing. He’s tried them all at some time and is willing to try more. Think back to all the romantic comedies you’ve watched. Do you remember a hero who was a terrible kisser?
Probably not; I know I can’t think of one. The reason behind this is women want men who can kiss well. A kiss epitomizes romance. A man who kisses well and times his kisses appropriately can usually have his pick of women. A recent article on the Life Gems for Marriage website touts the ability of a single kiss to not only increase your bond, but also relieve your stress level. After a hard day, a simple hug and kiss can make you feel SO much better. On the flip side, couples who divorce usually haven’t kissed for a very long time. The lack of kissing helps break down their initial bond. They no long feel close because they’re not. Never underestimate the power of a kiss.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Sex is the elephant in the room that women of a certain age do not talk about. Sure the thought is there, but unlike Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City we do not openly talk about it much. Too bad, we could learn so much from each other. The current belief for online daters is that sex should happen on the third date with the reason being you don’t want to continue dating someone who is a dud in the sack.
Whoa, I don’t feel like I even know anyone that well by date three, let alone want to share my stretch marks with him. In fact, I don’t want to reveal my stretch marks to anyone. But there is another prevailing belief from the other side, it just might be the female side. That is to withstand the sexual pull as long as possible.
Men value what they have to work and wait for. Exactly what your mother and grandmother told you, but being a child of the seventies you rejected it. In both the books, Dating Like a Man and Why Men Loves Bitches, men polled about their reactions regarding sex laid it out plain. They will always take what they can get, but with women they waited for and developed a companionable relationship with resulted in better sex. It became an added bonus on top of a strong union. Women who are having sex on the second or third date throw the man in a quandary because he gets what he wants, but may not even like the woman then he doesn’t know what to do. He may disappear off the radar screen or only shows up for booty calls.
Ever pick out a man that you know would be perfect for you. He meets all your background criteria and he’s not too hard on the eyes. You know the two of you could make beautiful music together, but by date two he is showing some bizarre behaviors. Some of these things may not show up to date six. It would be a shame if you made the mistake of jumping in bed with him. Once a woman sleeps with a man she feels obligated to stay with him. This is more than emotional.
During intercourse, a woman releases Oxytocin, a hormone that encourages bonding with her partner. That’s why women want to cuddle after sex. Men don’t experience this immediately that’s why they can literally walk away and often do. In an established relationship, men can experience an Oxytocin release, but this takes both time and an emotional attachment. Women often have sex in an effort to develop a relationship, but it doesn’t work that way.
In this world, we still live by a double standard. Often on dating profiles men will specify they want women with sexual experience, but in the end they don’t want to think you’ve slept with other men to get it. LOL That’s why the woman who jumps in bed with a guy early on kills the romance. He starts obsessing on all the other men she probably jumped in bed with on the third date and doesn’t like feeling like one of the pack. Everyone wants to feel special.
Truth is he is focused on the chase. It is Animal Planet all over again. Ever watch a nature show where a cheetah is running down the gazelle, what happens when he catches the gazelle? Basically, the show is over, the camera may cut to horizon as the cheetahs munch away. Same with humans, once the chase is over, no matter how it ends, it’s over.
While the chase is on you can show a man how you would like to be treated…with respect. You are a valuable commodity, a very special individual. I remember hearing a comedian say men used to talk about their woman’ s measurements with pride, but now they are thrilled to find a woman with a job and a benefits package. There is a great deal of truth to that. You have more to offer than you even know. Don’t give it away. Men respect what they have to work for, but men can get into the habit of respecting and treasuring you. This was news to me too!
This works only when a man pursues you and is unsure of you. The woman who gave it all up on the second date is no longer treated like a queen. Her guy drops by to eat food she’s cooked and watch some television to be followed by some sack time. Most women call that a relationship, but what does the woman really get out of that? He seems to have forgotten what a treasure he once thought she was.
People forget the short term unless we can implant it in the long term memory. An action or phrase has to be repeated at least SEVEN times before it will go into long term memory. Other studies declare that it takes twenty-one days to develop a new habit and thirty days to break an old one. With this information in mind, do you think a man will be in the habit of treating you like the valuable asset you are in the course of three dates? Probably not.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a man wait on you for a change? Want to please you? I had that once. A perfectionist chef who drove other people into frenzies because of his persnickety ways would always make sure I had a Diet Coke chilled at 31 degrees, a can, never a bottle. Why? Because that is how I liked it. I realize in hindsight he worked so hard to please me because he was so unsure of me. A few of you might wonder why I didn’t hold onto that prize, I tried, but he died.
Women for so long have looked after their man and family, but who takes care of the woman? It has to be you. Don’t sleep with men you don’t want to sleep with—it’s your right. You are never under any obligation to sleep with a man no matter how much money he spent on a date. He had free choice to spend as much money as he wanted. Some relationships just don’t have to go there. By dating, you may discover a friend as opposed to a lover. Set your own time table, it takes time to get to know people. Do you truly want to sleep with a stranger? As for those other men in the past, forget about them. That was then, we’re living in the now.
You may be able to work your way around the elephant sometimes, but other times you run right smack into it. People have a variety of opinions about mature woman seeking out romance. When I was twenty the thought of a forty something woman even considering sex was sickening. Now that I am on the other side of the coin, I feel more alive than when I was twenty. What’s your take on sex and mature single woman? What about the waiting game?
Friday, March 4, 2011
Dating is like shopping the clearance room. I love clearance rooms because so often I find treasures that other shoppers overlooked. An interesting picture or a fun pillow could hide behind a truly ugly couch in the clearance room. A funky enamel necklace is half tangled with all the 80% off jewelry in a pricey department store. A beautiful red coat stands alone in the corner since it is out of season, ignored by most shoppers. An unknown woman said it so I can’t take credit for it, but dating is like the IKEA clearance room. How she explained it is that everything is marked AS IS. You can’t ask if the pillow comes in a different color or if the coffee table is available in teak. What you see is what you get. So why do we think it would be different with dating?
Most men have a few scratches and dents on them from failed relationships. Seems silly to think we could buff them out with can of paste wax. Still we do want the men we date to be different to fit into some preconceived notion of what an ideal companion would be like. Most women create in their minds a male version of themselves. This person would understand us, we rationalized, when in truth he would be super critical just like us. Who needs that?
My stepfather likes to joke that women are always shopping for the perfect man and once they find him they set out on a campaign to change him. It always seems funny when he says it, but it is too often true.
I thought I knew what I wanted when I walked into the clearance room, but now I’m confused. You see there is not that perfect dream couch or guy I’ve been imagining. My attempt to explain it to the salesperson has her shaking her head muttering something about being so out of style. I was told to be specific about what I wanted. How could I get what I wanted if I wasn’t specific? It seems like what I want no longer exists. Maybe I’m losing my present and future by constantly looking back to the past.
I could leave the clearance room in disgust muttering about there being nothing good, but I don’t. What we need isn’t always want we think we want, I reason. Rather like Charlotte in Sex and the City who kept chasing after guys she felt were appropriate for her lifestyle and background only to fall for a short, bald Jew with a hairy back. This is where I should be terribly worried that I get my gems of wisdom from a television show.
Maybe I should ask myself if I even need to be in the clearance room at all. Maybe I shouldn’t be shopping…I mean dating. If I think of dating as being a big game hunter and I’m out to bag a man, maybe I should go home. Still I think of a chant from the book by Marie Farleo, How To Make Every Man Want You, date for fun, not to find the one. When I remember that I can embrace dating again. It is fun to discover new people and trade quips over a glass of wine.
I think the whole story about the IKEA clearance room was to point out you have to accept people AS IS you’re not going to change anyone. I know that’s the point, but I see another point. Often people discard people who don’t fit into the norm.
What if your soul mate is working right beside you? The funny guy you always have lunch with and remembers your birthday when your own mother forgets. Maybe you’ve dismissed him because you didn’t consider him the right model for your life style. Ironically, we judge people in less than ten seconds how they will fit into our lives. Will they be a friend, an enemy, lover or someone we simply walk by without acknowledging. Who wouldn’t be mad knowing they had less than ten seconds to make a good impression. It is especially bad if you don’t know the clock is running. It could be a day you’re off your game or a bad hair day. Unfair...so why do that to other people? Getting back to the clearance analogy, I often return to work with items I picked up at a deep discount.
My fellow workers are amazed that I bought something at a local store that they never saw. Since it is the only decent store in town we’ve all been through it several times. I picked up something that hundreds of other women ignored. The difference was I dug deep, unearthing my find. Sometimes you have to dig for that special guy. Other times you have to do the prep work since he is afraid of approaching you. Yes, the non-players are afraid of approaching women and experiencing rejection. We make the assumption that if they aren’t taken maybe they are losers. Sometimes people make the same assumption about the clearance room. I often walk out with items that women are startled are even in the room, but if you don’t look, how will you know?
When you enter the clearance room, be it shoes or dating, keep an open mind? If you walk in with the idea you will only accept 6’ tall engineer, you will probably be walking out alone? It also reminds me of the Russian proverb, “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.” Getting what we think we want isn’t always good.
Don’t be afraid of the clearance room. Remember we too are in the clearance room so we would like people not to talk down about us? What is the best find you ever found? Your find could be a person or a thing...it is simply the best.